Cape Town - A CPUT student who briefly worked for the SA Football Association Cape Town has been identified as the complainant at the centre of an internal disciplinary hearing involving allegations of sexual harassment against Safa’s Cape Town vice-president Vernon Seymour.
This week Weekend Argus revealed that Seymour successfully approached the Western Cape High Court last week to obtain an urgent court interdict asking for the disciplinary hearings against him to be postponed until February.
Safa was informed of the allegations on November 1 and immediately moved to suspend Seymour the next day before embarking on disciplinary action.
Sources close to the internal probe said Safa was looking into the possibility of other cases and have urged anyone with similar complaints to come forward.
And while Seymour dismissed the sex allegations as untrue in court papers, Safa Cape Town President Norman Arendse warned that “there is no place for sexual predators in football”.
According to Safa they have “received disturbing evidence of such a nature that it would be wrong” not to take any other course than to vigorously prosecute the matter.
On Sunday night, Arendse denied so-called claims made by Seymour that there was a vendetta against him.
“To say that this is part of Safa’s political manoeuvring is absolute, utter rubbish,” he said.
Arendse said he spoke to Seymour and confronted him about the accusations that the allegations made were fabricated and made-up.
“I told him if that is what he is claiming I would issue a summons immediately and sue for defamation,” Arendse said.
Seymour, who is also facing an internal disciplinary hearing by the African Nations Championship (Chan tournament), where he is currently working, also stands accused of disorderly conduct, for allegedly using the name of Chan’s Local Organising Committee (LOC), and its resources, to solicit sexual favours from the young woman.
But despite the internal drama, Safa said it’s all systems go for the 2014 African Championship of Nations tournament.
The football association is expected to file court papers in the next two days to oppose the granting of a final interdict to Seymour for his disciplinary hearings to be postponed until February.
“The granting of this interdict is deplored because the purpose of hearings was to give Seymour an opportunity to be heard. Safa and Chan will certainly oppose the granting of a final interdict. Our lawyers are presently working on the matter,” Arendse said.
Arendse said they enlisted the help of the Western Cape Sport and Recreation Department to conduct the hearings and have also appointed an advocate of the Cape Bar, André Coetzee to prosecute the charges.
“Since then Seymour has repeatedly failed to present himself at hearings and sought postponement after postponement. He also offered to resign from Chan.”
But Arendse said Seymour’s resignation offer was rejected because Chan wanted “an open and transparent process”.
Meanwhile Sports and Recreation MEC Ivan Meyer said:
“I trust that the sport federation resolve these disciplinary matters in due course in the interest of soccer and the upcoming Chan tournament to be hosted in Cape Town in January 2014. “I have not seen or received any request from Safa to assist and would apply my mind should I receive such a request.”
Seymour could not be reached for comment but in an affidavit before court he stated: “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.”