Match fixer to know his fate
SOCCER crook Phil Setshedi will know his fate tomorrow.
The former Bafana Bafana assistant coach faces up to 18 years in jail for trying to bribe a referee and fix football matches.
Setshedi was found guilty of corruption in December last year in the Bellville Commercial Crimes Court.
He will be sentenced tomorrow.
Setshedi's swindle in Cape Town, however, barely got off the ground.
His attempt to manipulate the play-offs of the third-tier Vodacom League in June 2011 - to buy a team's promotion into the National First Division - was foiled by a whistle-blowing referee and a police sting operation at a family steakhouse at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.
Setshedi's trial featured 15 witnesses, including one who feared for his life and a woman who thought phone calls from Setshedi to her referee boyfriend were from a secret lover.
There was even a cameo appearance by former Bafana coach Augusto Palacios.
The Peruvian, who had worked with Setshedi at Orlando Pirates, denied Setshedi's claim that he had introduced referee and middleman Mike Ndlovu to him.
The magistrate will also rule tomorrow on the immunity status of three referees who testified in the trial, depending on whether he found them truthful or not.
Setshedi was arrested at Spur restaurant moments after paying an undercover a police constable, who was pretending to be a referee, R2 000 in cash - a deposit on the R4 000 price to fix two matches in favour of the Nelspruit-based Sivutsa Stars.
The operation was hurriedly organised less than a day after referee Sedrick Muwale told his boss at the SA Football Association (Safa) that he had been approached to throw a game by a colleague, Clifford Malgas.
Both were already in Cape Town for the tournament.
Muwale testified saying that Malgas had told him that the money would be paid to them through Ndlovu, who was in Joburg.
Safa official Leholohonolo Manzane called Ndlovu under the pretext of looking for an agent. "He (Ndlovu) told me that there is an agent here in Cape Town."
The police were then contacted.
Manzane refused to continue with the ruse, telling the court later: "I don't want to get myself involved ... I could put my life in danger. If that particular person got arrested he can hire people to assassinate me or kill me.
"I was also told that people who are involved in soccer are very, very cruel and they can do cruel things."
Another Safa colleague, Shadrack Shishana, said Ndlovu contacted him first and then the agent, claiming to be Mr Jones.
"Mr Jones" was Setshedi's nickname during his days as a footballer at Orlando Pirates.
Shishana met "Jones", who turned out to be Setshedi, in his Waterfront hotel room, one of the 12 rooms paid for by Sivutsa Stars director Derek Khoza.
After telling Shishana that he and Mike had come "a long way", Setshedi asked how much it would cost for his team to win.
They agreed on R6000 for two matches, although Setshedi said he would take R2 000 commission off that.
Setshedi also said he had to get approval from his superior. "[Later] I received a phone call from him and then he told me that the MD (managing director) says that it is no problem," Shishana testified.
Shishana was replaced by Constable "Bomber" Mthembu who was given a Safa tracksuit for the restaurant sting.
As it turned out, Sivutsa Stars got promoted anyway.