Tuesday 12 December 2023


 Mighty Warriors coach Shadreck Mlauzi opened his defence yesterday on his charges of indecent assault and assault claiming he had been building a virtual relationship with the complainant before they actually met.

Mlauzi appeared before Harare magistrate Mrs Ethel Chichera.

Explaining the nature of their relationship to the court, he said: “We had a predominantly virtual relationship which we were hoping to develop into a love affair. I never met her physically before September 26. On the 26th, it was the first day of camp so we wanted to set things up. The complainant came a bit late to the camp at Pandhari Hotel.”

Mlauzi told the court that he only saw her after the meeting at around 7:30pm and started chatting to her until around 9pm after she said she had collected some toiletries from other official.

“After that she went to the media officer’s room. I sent the members of the technical staff the programme. The files managed to upload much faster. We met there for the first time.

“So I didn’t really know her character since l was mourning my father who passed on, on the 15th and was laid to rest on the 21st so it was not possible for me to call someone to my room to sexually assault her.”

Mlauzi said the complainant was being used to tarnish his reputation since he is a successful coach.

“I also believe it was a case of vindictiveness. She had no problem until after the constructive criticism I gave her during the meeting. For close to 10 or 11 days, we were in very good books. We communicated after the occurrence of these incidents,” said Mlauzi.

It is the State 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’s Championship.

 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.

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.

On the next day, while at a training session, the complainant told the coach that they did not have resistance bands for training and he allegedly told her to collect money from his room.

The complainant went to collect the money from his room and when he handed over the US$20, Mlauzi allegedly grabbed the complainant improperly and she turned down his advances and went away.

The next day, Mlauzi allegedly started harassing the complainant after the match and that prompted her to register her complaint to COSAFA Safeguarding Officer who later counselled her. Herald


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