The trial on two counts of indecent assault of Mighty Warriors head coach Shadreck Mlauzi opened on Friday with him pleading not guilty to the charges.
In his defence, Mlauzi, told the court that he never violated the complainant’s rights in any way.
“First and foremost, I can’t go to my parish priest and confess about something which I did not do. I have been in women’s football for the past 23 years and I have never violated anyone’s rights,” he said.
Mlauzi further submitted that he was born in a family of nine and more of his siblings are women, but he never violated their rights.
“I had a virtual relationship with the complainant; we used to chat freely. She used to video call me and ask for favours from me. I’m disappointed that she decided to press such charges against me,” he said.
Mlauzi told the court that the complainant was under his technical team and would visit his room any time.
He said the issue surfaced only after he reprimanded the entire technical team following a bad performance.
“She is a beautiful woman I admit. I admired her, but I did not go beyond that,” said Mlauzi.
During cross examination, the complainant sobbed uncontrollably while narrating how she was abus£d by Mlauzi. She told the court that she felt very cheap as a result of what Mlauzi did to her.
“The football federation that was supposed to protect me, tried by all means to hide this case,” she said.
Mlauzi allegedly molested the female member of the technical team in Zimbabwe and in South Africa on different occasions.
It is the State’s case that on September 26, Mlauzi and the Mighty Warriors team were camping at Pandhari Lodge in Glen Lorne, Harare, ahead of the Cosafa Women Championships that were held in South Africa recently.
The complainant asked for the training programme, but Mlauzi allegedly told her to collect it from his room. Later that day, she went to the room to collect the programme and Mlauzi allegedly told her he would email it to her.
He allegedly asked the complainant to kiss him on his lips. Mlauzi allegedly grabbed the complainant’s shoulders and pulled her towards him in an attempt to kiss her without her consent, but she refused. This was the basis of the assault charge.
On the second count, the State alleged that on October 4, Mlauzi and the complainant were in South Africa at Garden Court Hotel with the rest of the team members. On handing the hotel room keys to the complainant, Mlauzi allegedly instructed her to report to his room and massage him.
The next day, while at a training session, the complainant told Mlauzi they did not have resistance bands for training and he allegedly told her to collect money from his room.
She went to collect the money, but when he handed over the US$20, Mlauzi allegedly grabbed the complainant improperly and she turned down his advances and went away.
On the next day, Mlauzi allegedly started harassing the complainant after the match and that prompted her to register her complaint to the Cosafa safeguarding officer, who later counselled her. This gave rise to the charge of indecent assault. Herald