Cronje continues to make the headlines

Published: Thursday, April 5, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
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Johannesburg: Disgraced former South African cricket captain Hansie Cronje may have been banned for life from the sport, but he continues to make the headlines here. An advertisement placed by Safeline, a manufacturer of brake pads, in the latest issue of South Africa's most popular motoring magazine, Car, has been the source of much amusement with readers. The advertisement, the second in a series intended to use humor to sell Safeline pads, shows former managing director of the United Cricket Board of South Africa (UCBSA), Ali Bacher, with his arms folded and the leader of the Rhema Church, Pastor Ray McCauley, holding files in both hands, standing outside the office of a betting shop. The picture was obviously taken at the time when Cronje was facing charges of involvement in match-fixing with bookmakers at the King Commission last year. He later admitted to the crime before the Commission and was banned for life by the UCBSA. Cronje had initially denied the allegations and was publicly supported by Bacher, who later admitted that Cronje had misled him. McCauley was at Cronje's side throughout the saga as his mentor and advisor, and was the man to whom Cronje first confessed his sins before going public with it. The punch line in the advertisement is Cronje's picture, superimposed, walking up to the two stern-looking officials and saying "If I had fitted Safeline pads, I would have stopped." The advertisement has been acclaimed as "very clever" by advertising pundits and the public here, but the Rhema Church did not find it very funny. They refused to comment, saying that the issue of Cronje was a "stale" one. Bacher was out of town working on plans in his new position as director of the World Cup 2003, which is to be held in South Africa. Sources at the UCBSA, who did not want to be named, said, while Bacher would probably see the humor in the advertisement, it was "in poor taste." The first advertisement in the series had a picture of former American President Bill Clinton, capitalising on his infamous liaison with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. "For our superimposed image in each advertisement, we choose people who are in the public eye and who admitted that they did something wrong," said Graham Erasmus, the director of Safeline. The subjects did not have to know about their images being used in the advertisements, Erasmus added. Extras:
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