Mlauzi accuser breaks down in court

Zvikomborero Parafini

THE woman accusing Mighty Warriors head coach, Shadreck Mlauzi, of indecent assault broke down in court while narrating her ordeal.

Mlauzi pleaded not guilty to the offence. The woman said ZIFA protected Mlauzi after she reported the incident to them.

Mlauzi claimed that he has been in women’s football for over 22 years and has never violated any woman, adding that he admired the complainant, but never went beyond that as she alleged.

Mlauzi’s lawyers dumped him in court after their application for postponement was dismissed with the court ruling that they were wasting time.

“I went to his room in South Africa to get the money for resistance bands, and that’s when he grabbed my buttocks and said ‘imbondipawo zvinhu izvi’.

“When I stretched my hand to take the money from him, he then grabbed me by the buttocks and pulled me towards him while I was wearing tights and a jersey.

“He started harassing me at the game and when we went to the hotel for a meeting, he harassed me again and I remained behind after the meeting crying, which prompted the safeguarding and team manager to return and ask why I was crying.

“I told them everything, including his request for sex and massages,” she said.

She then broke down in the witness stand, saying she felt useless as if any man can do as they please with her body.

“I didn’t tell anyone because I was afraid and because I have seen how others would be victimised for reporting matters of this nature.

“This has affected me so much as there was widespread media coverage. My confidence was affected, and worse the football federation which was supposed to protect me, tried to hide the issue, and this has been difficult for me and my family. I felt and still feel vulnerable,” she said.

Mlauzi said he had never violated any woman.

“I have been in women’s football for over 22 years and never have I violated women, so it’s surprising that I have to defend myself against such allegations.

“We had a virtual relationship. Most of our engagements were on WhatsApp. I don’t want to lie, she is a beautiful woman, and I admired her, but it didn’t go beyond that.

“We have always had a good relationship with the complainant and even prior to my appointment, she would talk to me, video call me, WhatsApp call, ask for favours, but I didn’t know that she had a motive.

“Nothing happened on the day. I never forced her to come to my room. We have structures, including a team manager. She could have sent them to collect the things,” said Mlauzi.

He said on the day in question, he took out US$20 and placed it on a drawer, and when his accuser came to his room, she took the money and waited.

“She wouldn’t leave the room for whatever reason, so I told her that it was getting late and shopping malls would close, then she went and bought the bands.

“After the match on October 6, we had a valuation session to review our match and as a coach when demanding results, you demand your subordinates to share the same vision with you.

“In that session, I didn’t hold any prisoners and emotions got the better of the complainant and she started crying in front of others. That’s when she claimed I had touched her inappropriately, and I’m not sure of her motive,” he said.

Trial resumes on November 23.

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