Cape Town - A referee who was the whistleblower in a football match-fixing scandal says his life has changed.
Cedrick Muvhali, a referee employed by the SA Football Association (Safa), told the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Thursday that he had been accused of being a spy by colleagues, after he reported a fellow referee to officials.
Muvhali identified former assistant referee Clifford Malgas, who was sitting in the dock, as the man who had approached him to “fix” matches.
They were both members of the Soweto Referees’ Association at the time.
Malgas was arrested last October, and is accused of match-fixing in the Vodacom Cup tournament in June, 2011.
He was arrested in Joburg before the matter was transferred to Cape Town, and is in court on charges of corruption and perjury.
With the assistance of a Venda interpreter, Muvhali testified that in June 2011 he and Malgas had been appointed to referee playoff matches in the Vodacom Cup tournament.
Muvhali said they had travelled to Cape Town by bus and stayed at a hotel.
While unloading their luggage, Malgas had approached him and asked: “Are you good at helping other people?”
“I said yes because I didn’t know what he was talking about,” Muvhali said.
He said Malgas had told him about certain teams that wanted to win promotion. He listed them as Chippa United from Cape Town, Sevutsa from Mpumalanga, and Highlands Park from Gauteng.
“He said that if I wanted to help, all I had to do was give him my bank account,” Muvhali said.
Muvhali said he knew he was “not allowed to sell games” and that he would be getting involved in corrupt activities.
He had elected to report the matter to the head of department.
A committee meeting had later been held at the Philippi stadium where he said Malgas denied the allegations.
Muvhali said he realised then that when he got back to Joburg his life would be different.
Prosecutor Louis van Niekerk asked him how it was different and Muvhali said he had been called names such as “impimpi” (a spy).
Malgas testified in the court case of former Bafana Bafana assistant coach Phil Setshedi in December, 2012.
Setshedi was sentenced to three years for paying a police official, posing as the chief referee, R2 000 to manipulate the outcome of two footall matches.
He was arrested at a Spur restaurant on June 8, 2011.
It is believed that the undercover operation was organised after Muvhali reported Malgas to authorities, and Safa reported Setshedi to the police.
The case continues.