Former football referee Clifford Malgas has been convicted of match-fixing in the Belville Commercial Crimes Court in Cape Town, South Africa, and sentenced to two years in prison on 14 November, 2014 .
He was charged under section 15 of the South African Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, 2004, which expressly criminalises match-fixing and corruption in sport. The charges relate to the fixing of a second division play-off match between Sivutsa Stars and Baroka FC in June 2011.
The court found that Malgas had conspired with former coach Philemon Setshedi to fix the outcome of the match. Malgas received ZAR 6,000 (about € 350) for his part in the fix.
In a separate case, Setshedi was convicted for his part in the conspiracy and sentenced to eight years in prison, plus an additional suspended sentence of five years in prison. Malgas has also been convicted of perjury for lying during his testimony during the trial of Phil Setshedi and sentenced to a further two years in prison.
This means that an effective sentence of 4 years has been imposed on Malgas. He will have to serve at least one year in prison before he becomes eligible for parole or correctional supervision.
This case clearly demonstrates the determination of the Authorities in South Africa, which is well-known as a sports-loving nation, to stamp out corruption in sport in all its invidious forms, especially match-fixing, which goes against the notion inherent in sport of fair play and fair competition.
For further information on match-fixing in sport, see the article on ‘Cricket’s underworld: fighting illegal gambling and match-fixing’ by Prof Cornelius in the June 2013 issue of GSLTR at pages 17-22.
Dr Steve Cornelius is Professor in the Private Law Department, specialising in Sports Law, and also a Member of the Sports Law Centre at the University of Pretoria South Africa