Judge asks media to be sensitive August 7, 2006

Cronje inquest begins

Cricinfo staff

A South African court has begun hearing evidence at the inquest into Hansie Cronje's death in a plane crash in 2002. Siraj Desai, a Cape High Court Judge, has been tasked with making an official ruling on whether anyone is criminally liable for the crash.

Judge Desai has asked the media to report on the inquest with sensitivity. This was after he granted permission to SABC Television and E-TV to record the proceedings of the inquest.

Willem Tarentaal, the State prosecutor, told the inquest hearing that the families of the deceased wanted the inquest to be concluded speedily, because they did not want to relive the incident. Tarentaal said family members were informed about the inquest, but they declined to attend.

Cronje was killed when the Hawker Siddeley 748 aircraft he was flying in from Bloemfontein crashed into a mountain north-east of the airport at George. A Civil Aviation Authority probe found the accident to have been caused by a combination of pilot error, bad weather and technical defects on the aircraft. The inquest continues.