The trial commenced on Friday as Shadreck Mlauzi, the Mighty Warriors head coach, denied two counts of indecent assault. Pleading not guilty, Mlauzi firmly asserted his innocence, stating he’d never violated anyone’s rights, emphasizing his extensive tenure in women’s football without incident. He defended a virtual relationship with the complainant, expressing disappointment over the charges.
His defense included details of the complainant’s accessibility to his room as part of the technical team, dismissing any misconduct beyond admiration for her beauty. During cross-examination, the complainant emotionally recounted feeling degraded and disclosed the football federation’s attempts to conceal the case.
The alleged incidents took place in Zimbabwe and South Africa, with specific details outlined. The first count, occurring at a lodge in Harare, involved an alleged attempt to kiss the complainant without consent. The second count, in South Africa, implicated an alleged instruction for a massage and improper advances after a monetary exchange.
The complainant’s distress (allegations) following match-related harassment prompted her to report the incidents to the Cosafa safeguarding officer, leading to counseling and the formal charges of indecent assault against Mlauzi. The trial continues with the examination of witnesses and evidence.