Sex scan­dal rocks Safa Soc­cer of­fi­cial de­nies ha­rass­ing col­league

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - FA­TIMA SCHROEDER

THE SA Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion has been hit by a sex scan­dal on the eve of next year’s African Na­tions Cham­pi­onship, with al­le­ga­tions that Safa Cape Town vice-pres­i­dent Ver­non Sey­mour sex­u­ally ha­rassed and so­licited sex­ual favours from a young fe­male col­league.

Sey­mour has also been ac­cused of dis­or­derly con­duct, for al­legedly us­ing the name of the African Na­tions Cham­pi­onship (Chan) Lo­cal Or­gan­is­ing Com­mit­tee (LOC), and its re­sources to so­licit sex­ual favours from the woman.

Sey­mour is Chan’s com­pe­ti­tions man­ager in Cape Town, and is tasked with or­gan­is­ing train­ing and match venues for the tour­na­ment, which kicks off on Jan­uary 11.

How­ever, in an ur­gent ap­pli­ca­tion he brought in the Western Cape High Court this week, Sey­mour dis­missed the sex al­le­ga­tions as un­true.

“I deny that I in any way sex­u­ally ha­rassed ( the com­plainant), nor of­fered or promised her a job, ei­ther at (the LOC) or at Safa Cape Town. I also deny that I so­licited sex­ual favours from her,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to Sey­mour’s pa­pers, Safa Cape Town sus­pended him on Novem­ber 3, be­fore it held a dis­ci­plinary hear­ing re­gard­ing the sex claims, al­le­ga­tions that he had of­fered the com­plainant a job in re­turn for sex­ual favours, and claims that he at­tempted to per­suade the woman not to pro­ceed with the mat­ter.

The hear­ing con­tin­ued un­til De­cem­ber 11, be­fore be­ing ad­journed to Fe­bru­ary.

But two days later, Sey­mour re­ceived another no­tice – this time from the LOC – which in­formed him that a dis­ci­plinary in­quiry was to be held on De­cem­ber 18 in con­nec­tion with sim­i­lar al­le­ga­tions.

Sey­mour said he at­tended that hear­ing, where he un­suc­cess­fully asked for a post­pone­ment.

The hear­ing was sup­posed to start on De­cem­ber 23, but Sey­mour sought the ur­gent in­ter­ven­tion of the courts, ar­gu­ing that the same al­le­ga­tions, in­volv­ing the same woman, were al­ready the sub­ject of the pend­ing Safa Cape Town dis­ci­plinary pro­ceed­ings.

“I want this mat­ter to be fully pre- sented to this hon­ourable court, as I am now be­ing tried in two dif­fer­ent fo­rums of the South African Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion, in­volv­ing the same facts, the same is­sues, the same par­ties and the same cause.

“It is my re­spect­ful sub­mis­sion that the pro­ceed­ings in­sti­tuted by the South African Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion re­gional mem­ber, Safa Cape Town, should be con­cluded first be­fore any fur­ther pro­ceed­ings are launched in­volv­ing the sex­ual al­le­ga­tions of (the com­plainant),” he said, adding that he stood to suf­fer grave and ir­repara­ble harm to his rep­u­ta­tion.

If the com­plainant was al­lowed to give ev­i­dence in the hear­ing with­out him hav­ing had the op­por­tu­nity to fully pre­pare, he would be prej­u­diced, and face the prospect of a guilty find­ing which would have grave con­se­quences for his rep­u­ta­tion and stand­ing, he sub­mit­ted.

Sey­mour said he had not been given a copy of the com­plaint, which fur­ther dis­ad­van­taged him.

Sey­mour was given a re­prieve un­til Jan­uary 21, af­ter Judge Ben­nie Griesel or­dered the LOC and the com­plainant to show cause on that date why the LOC dis­ci­plinary pro­ceed­ings should not be stayed, pend­ing the out­come of Sey­mour’s ap­pli­ca­tion.

The LOC did not re­spond to the al­le­ga­tions due to the short no­tice of the fil­ing of the ur­gent ap­pli­ca­tion.

How­ever, the court gave it leave to an­tic­i­pate the re­turn date, and ad­vised it of its right to ap­ply for a re­con­sid­er­a­tion of the or­der.

Weekend Ar­gus is not pub­lish­ing tomorrow and the ed­i­tor and staff wish all our read­ers a happy and

pros­per­ous New Year

DE­CEM­BER 28 2013

PIC­TURE: ADRIAN DE KOCK

SUM­MER SHOWER: Bathers wash off un­der a shower at Camps Bay beach yes­ter­day. The beaches were packed to ca­pac­ity again, thanks to more glo­ri­ous weather.

More pic­tures on page 3.

HOT SEAT: Se­nior Safa of­fi­cial Ver­non Sey­mour has been ac­cused of ha­rass­ment.

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