Aviation authority deny Cronje murder claims

  • Other Sport
  • Wednesday, 06 Aug 2003

JOHANNESBURG: South Africa's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on Monday denied claims that former cricket captain Hansie Cronje, who died in a plane accident last year, had in fact been murdered. 

The London-based Observer Sports Monthly reported at the weekend that foul play could have been involved when the plane crashed near George in the Western Cape on May 30 last year. 

The newspaper, quoting an unnamed CAA investigator close to the case, said Cronje could have been killed to prevent him from divulging more details on a match-fixing scandal that ended his career as South Africa's most successful ever captain. 

The CAA investigator reportedly said: “A lot of people wanted Cronje dead.  

They feared he would one day tell the full truth, and many more would be implicated. 

“I know people who have looked closely into what happened but who were warned off by threatening phone calls. They're scared of getting a bullet in the head.  

“I understand that police have found evidence of sabotage, but they're reluctant to go public on this.” 

However, CAA commissioner Trevor Abrahams told SABC radio news on Monday morning the claims were fictitious. 

“We are not aware of any such report. I don't know where it comes from and certainly the indication that someone involved in the actual investigation from the CAA made any such statements are not true,” Abrahams said. 

Cronje died along with the two pilots when the cargo plane he was travelling in crashed shortly before landing at George airport. – AFP  

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