Thami Tsolekile has admitted for the first time that he was approached by Gulam Bodi to fix matches, but insists his only crime was not to report it to authorities.
In an interview with the Sunday Times, Tsolekile admitted to not reporting Bodi’s offers to Cricket South Africa but denied that he was guilty of corruption.
Tsolekile’s name had previously been linked to the investigation into match-fixing. He hasn’t played for the Lions since December last year, initially due to an achilles injury, but he is not currently training with the squad.
Tsolekile claims that Bodi, was has been banned from cricket for 20 years after admitting his role in the scandal, told him Alviro Petersen exposed the racket to CSA only after his attempts to get in on the deal had failed.
While a few players have been drawn into the saga over the last few months, Tsolekile believes CSA have hung him out to dry by, he claims, leaking his name and others selectively to the media.
‘All I can tell you is that I’m clean and never did match fixing – I can bet my life on that,’ Tsolekile told the newspaper.
‘I declined Bodi’s offers and maybe I’m guilty of not reporting. I guess that goes for lots of other players.’
Petersen confirmed he was the whistleblower a week ago and claims he orchestrated Bodi’s downfall with the help of the Anti Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) ‘three days’ after he was made aware of the fixing scandal.
Tsolekile has a different version.
‘Bodi told me Alviro wanted R600 000 per game and R300 000 up front and when they didn’t agree on a deal, he reported.’
The Sunday Times approached Bodi’s lawyer for comment on Tsolekile’s claim, but he declined.
‘Alviro is also part of the investigation,’ Tsolekile said. ‘I was told this by the anti-corruption guys.
‘Lots of players have been questioned, I know that for a fact,’ he said. ‘Why did CSA choose to expose my name and ‘Lopsy’ [Lonwabo Tsotsobe] and not the other guys?’