Johannesburg: Cricket South Africa (CSA)today banned four players, including former international Thami Tsolekile, for match-fixing in the 2015 Ram Slam T20 tournament. The other three banned players are Jean Symes, Ethy Mbhalati and Pumelela Matshikwe. While former Test wicketkeeper Tsolekile has been banned for 12 years, Symes has been handed a seven-year ban.
Mbhalati and Pumelela Matshikwe has been barred from cricket for 10 years. “The banning of these four players follows lengthy investigations and the previous imposition by CSA in January 2016 of a 20-year ban on former Proteas, Lions and Titans player Gulam Bodi after Bodi had admitted charges of contriving or attempting to fix matches in the 2015 RAM SLAM T20 Challenge Series,” said CSA in a statement.
“Bodi acted as an intermediary for international betting syndicates, approaching certain players with a view to engaging in fixing activities during the competition.” Symes has been punished for failing to disclose to the CSA Anti-Corruption Officer, a payment “which he knew or ought to have known was given to him to procure a breach of the Code; failing to disclose details of an approach to engage in corrupt conduct under the Code; failing to disclose full details of matters evidencing a breach of the Code by another participant; and failing to co-operate with the investigators by knowingly providing false information to them”.
Matshikwe and Mbhalati, formerly contracted to the Lions and Titans respectively, have both been banned for receiving a payment “to fix or contrive to influence improperly a match or matches in the 2015 RAM SLAM.” Tsolekile will serve a 12 year ban for failing to disclose full details of matters evidencing a breach of the Code by another participant and delaying the investigation by destroying evidence that was relevant to the investigation. The CSA investigation was led by independent attorney and former ICC Head of legal, David Becker, and former police Colonel and current head of CSA’s Anti-Corruption Unit, Louis Cole.
The investigators have also engaged with the South African Police Services, the Hawks and independent forensic experts during the course of the investigation. Commenting on the bans, CSA Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said: “It is our stated position that any form of corruption in the game will be dealt with severely. We will leave no stone unturned and we will do everything in our power to protect the integrity of the game. “Corruption is a very serious matter and for this reason we have devoted extensive time and resources to fully investigate every shred of evidence. We are still finalising certain aspects of the investigation. The four players have accepted the bans which will come into effect from August 1. PTI
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