Decision on sanctions: CSA v Gulam Bodi

On 31 December 2015, pursuant to an investigation carried out by CSA’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (“ACSU”) Gulam Bodi was charged by CSA under its Anti-Corruption Code for Participants (“the Code”) on several counts of contriving or attempting to fix matches in the 2015 RAM SLAM tournament.

Following several interviews with Mr Bodi, on Monday 18 January 2015 Mr Bodi formally admitted the charges against him.

Having received and acknowledged the admissions made by Mr Bodi, CSA, acting on the advice of members of the ACSU and its legal advisors, considered an appropriate sanction to be applied against Mr Bodi in respect of the offences committed under the Code.

CSA considered the parameters of the penalties set out in Article 6.2 of the Code, which stipulate that the sanction to be applied in respect of the offences in question is a minimum of five years and a maximum of a life ban, in respect of each offence.

As a comparative analysis, CSA also considered (a) sanctions applied in South Africa in respect of similar fixing-related offences; (b) sanctions applied in respect of similar fixing-related offences imposed by other ICC Members in overseas jurisdictions; and (c) relevant decisions handed down by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland.

As is appropriate in such matters, CSA also considered a number of aggravating and mitigating factors which are relevant to the question of sanctions in this matter.

As regards aggravating factors, CSA considered, amongst others, the following:

• The extent of the corrupt activities carried out by Mr Bodi over a period of time;
• The importance of upholding the provisions of the Code in order to protect the integrity and image of the game;
• The damage to the integrity of the game as a consequence of his actions;
• The actual and potential commercial impact of his actions on the game of cricket in South Africa and internationally;
• Public interest and public sentiment in the matter, having regard to the fact that cricket is a national sport in South Africa and corruption a matter of national concern;
• The need to uphold and maintain a zero tolerance approach towards corruption in the game of cricket;
• The fact that Mr Bodi was a senior player in domestic cricket in South Africa and attempted to use his influence over other players to undertake corrupt activities;
• The fact that Mr Bodi, having had a long career in domestic cricket, should have known that his actions would cause significant damage to the game;
• The fact that Mr Bodi had, on several occasions, received player education on the Code and the subject of fixing in particular; and
• The fact that his actions involved and implicated other players, placing them in a compromising position.

As regards mitigating factors, CSA considered, amongst others, the following:

• the fact that Mr Bodi had admitted his guilt at an early stage in proceedings;
• the fact that, by and large, Mr Bodi had co-operated with CSA in the investigation and continued to do so;
• the fact that Mr Bodi showed remorse for his actions, had apologized to CSA and was ready to issue a public apology for his actions;
• the fact that Mr Bodi did not have any record of being involved in similar activities in the past;
• the fact that Mr Bodi was suffering from significant stress and anxiety due to both personal and financial issues at the time of commission of the offences;
• the fact the Mr Bodi was keen to participate in constructive player education initiatives in the future and had a role to play in this regard; and
• the fact that he had already experienced some public contempt and ridicule, both in and outside of the cricket community, and that this would be part of his life for years to come.

Taking the above factors into consideration, as well as other relevant factors, CSA is of the view that Mr Bodi should face a lengthy ban from all cricket related activities.

CSA seeks to impose a ban of 20 (twenty) years upon Mr Bodi, with 5 (five) of those years suspended on condition that Mr Bodi commits no further offences under the Code and demonstrates to CSA’s reasonable satisfaction that he has actively and constructively participated in corruption-related player education programmes when asked to do so by CSA and/or SACA.

Mr Bodi has accepted this sanction in terms of Article 5.1.12 of the Code. During the period of the ban in question, Mr Bodi shall not be permitted to play, coach, officiate or otherwise participate or be involved in any capacity in any official international or domestic match or any other kind of function, event or activity (other than authorized anti-corruption education or rehabilitation programs) that is authorized, organized, sanctioned, recognized or supported in any way by the ICC, a National Cricket Federation, or any member under the jurisdiction of a National Cricket Federation, or receive accreditation to provide media or other services at any official venue or match.

Haroon Lorgat
Chief Executive,
Cricket South Africa