Pressing Issues – Setshedi just the tip of the iceberg
The conviction of former Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana manager Phil “Mr Jones” Setshedi of corruption related to match-fixing has provided the SA Football Association (Safa) with a good platform to tackle the scourge earnestly.
While many rejoiced at the former great player, coach and natty dresser’s misfortune, those in the know will agree his conviction is merely the tip of the iceberg.
For ages, accusing fingers were pointed at the men in black – referees to the uninitiated – as those whose level of corruption stunk to high heaven.
But for ages there were others, such as ertswhile Premier Soccer League spin doctor Andrew “Druza” Dipela, who kept on pointing out that if indeed the whistle men were corrupt, then there must be someone corrupting them.
Whispers in football corridors were that club owners – even some from very big clubs – were the main brains behind the affliction.
However, time and again, when there were inquiries, they died a silent death and the whispers would continue that “they can’t act because the findings are pointing at the big guns as the main culprits”.
And so we were made to wait, time and again.
Setshedi’s case leaves questions whose answers might lead to a major breakthrough.
The man renowned for his sartorial elegance has never owned a club.
So there is no way he might have simply woken up one day in June 2011, decided to board a plane to Cape Town with the intention of bribing referees on behalf of a club he had nothing to do with.
As Setshedi was unemployed at the time, where would he have got the money for flights and for refereeing bribes?
What would he have gained out of this?
On whose instructions was he acting?
These are the questions Safa needs to have answered if they are genuine about getting to the bottom of this match-fixing dilemma.
They have a private investigator who has been on a retainer since October 2009. Surely it would be in their interests to ask him to dig deeper into this matter.
Or are there indeed some big fish that people are too scared to expose?
It’s also disconcerting that Setshedi seems to have decided to go down alone rather than bring the house down with him, Samson-style.