Cronje may face criminal prosecution

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The Independent Online

The disgraced former South African captain, Hansie Cronje, could face criminal prosecution for his role in match-fixing.

Cronje had been given indemnity from court proceedings as long as he made a full disclosure to Judge Edwin King's match-fixing investigation. However, in summing up his findings yesterday, King stated: "Due to subsequent developments the Commissioner is not in a position to express such an opinion and has advised the National Director accordingly; the National Director is in agreement with the Commissioner's decision."

Sipho Ngwema, a spokesman for prosecutions director Bulelani Ngcuka, said any agreement over indemnity was now "out of the window".

The commission was set up last year after Cronje admitted to taking money from bookmakers in exchange for match information. Cronje was banned for life for his part in South Africa's worst sporting scandal.

In his final report, King said the commission was restricted by its failure to acquire the full context of the Indian tapes of conversations between Cronje and bookmakers. This was despite requests at the highest level to Indian authorities.

The final hearings were to resume on 19 February this year, but on 22 February, King announced he had asked President Thabo Mbeki to close the commission. He said this had been precipitated by the threat of Cronje's attorney to "challenge the constitutional validity of my appointment".