Sed­ibe sues Safa for R5m

For­mer Safa CEO says he wants to re­pair his dented im­age and also wants to find out who was re­ally in­volved in al­legedly fix­ing Bafana matches

CityPress - - Sport - TI­MOTHY MOLOBI ti­mothy@city­press.co.za

Au­gust 8 – save the date!

On that day, a showdown of bib­li­cal pro­por­tions will take place be­tween for­mer SA Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (Safa) CEO Les­lie Sed­ibe and his for­mer em­ploy­ers at the Jo­han­nes­burg High Court.

Sed­ibe, who is su­ing Safa for R5 mil­lion, will fi­nally have his day in court as he at­tempts to clear his name fol­low­ing al­le­ga­tions of match-fix­ing in­volv­ing Bafana Bafana.

It has been al­most five years since the al­le­ga­tions that Bafana Bafana matches prior to the 2010 Soccer World Cup were fixed first sur­faced, and the is­sue re­fuses to dis­ap­pear.

Sed­ibe’s le­gal team filed the court pa­pers for defama­tion last June at the Jo­han­nes­burg High Court.

Last year, Fifa banned Sed­ibe for five years from all foot­ball-re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties af­ter charges re­lat­ing to the saga. He was also fined R311 000. He has not paid the fine.

But Sed­ibe, who has al­ways main­tained his in­no­cence, still de­nies any wrong­do­ing and has now ap­proached the courts in an at­tempt to clear his name and to get to find out now who was re­ally in­volved.

Sed­ibe had pre­vi­ously ap­proached the na­tional po­lice com­mis­sioner and the Pub­lic Pro­tec­tor’s of­fice to in­ves­ti­gate the claims, but was not suc­cess­ful. He had also called for a ju­di­cial com­mis­sion of en­quiry.

He has ac­quired the ser­vices of top le­gal minds Lawrence Hodes SC, who rep­re­sented Glenn Agliotti in the Brett Keb­ble mur­der case, and law firm Phillip Sil­ver Swartz.

An ex­cited David Swartz, the head of the lit­i­ga­tion di­vi­sion at the law firm, said he was con­fi­dent of vic­tory.

“Our client has al­ways main­tained he wanted his day in court and fi­nally we have a date,” said Swartz on Fri­day.

“He has suf­fered rep­u­ta­tional dam­age and his cred­i­bil­ity was also tar­nished. We hope the courts will set­tle this mat­ter once and for all so he can move on with his life. Other things will also come to the fore be­cause we need to get to the bot­tom of the match-fix­ing scan­dal.”

Swartz be­lieves R5 mil­lion is a fair amount to ask for.

“All he wants to do is clear his name so he can move on. Re­mem­ber, he also wanted a com­mis­sion of en­quiry to be ap­pointed to get to the bot­tom of the al­le­ga­tions as there are many unan­swered ques­tions.”

Safa CEO Den­nis Mum­ble laughed off the defama­tion claim and re­fused to com­ment.

“We don’t nor­mally com­ment on le­gal mat­ters as what­ever we say might be used against us in court. This mat­ter is sub ju­dice and I would not want to be dragged into it,” he said.

Sed­ibe was banned along with for­mer Safa ref­eree of­fi­cials Steve God­dard and Adeel Carelse, who were banned for two years each.

For­mer Safa pres­i­dent Kirsten Ne­matan­dani has also been banned for five years by the world foot­ball con­trol­ling body af­ter be­ing found to have con­tra­vened Fifa’s code of ethics.

“There has been much spec­u­la­tion with re­gard to the match-fix­ing al­le­ga­tions and the names of many in­di­vid­u­als have been drawn into these al­le­ga­tions, in­clud­ing my own name,” Sed­ibe said.

“I was CEO of Safa at the time. I am de­ter­mined to main­tain and pro­tect my good name and rep­u­ta­tion and I am of the opin­ion that this mat­ter has dragged on for far too long. Jus­tice de­layed is jus­tice de­nied.

“I have re­peat­edly placed on record that I fully sup­port calls for a full and in­de­pen­dent in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the al­le­ga­tions, and I am pre­pared to give my full sup­port and co­op­er­a­tion to get to the bot­tom of these al­le­ga­tions once and for all.”

PHOTO: LUCKY NX­U­MALO

AG­GRIEVED For­mer SA Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion CEO Les­lie Sed­ibe

PHOTO: SA­MUEL SHIVAMBU / BACKPAGEPIX

NO COM­MENT Den­nis Mum­ble has laughed off the claim

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