Saturday, September 25, 2021

Mokokwe’s sexual harassment allegations labeled witch hunt

The recent sacking of COSAFA/CAF referees’ instructor and match commissioner Sebaetseng Glenda Mokokwe from the just ended COSAFA women championship 2021 qualifiers is allegedly regarded as a staged witch hunt against the Botswana official.

Mokokwe was taken off the officiating list in a decision COSAFA indicated was based on performance.

Sunday Standard has however established that prior to her being shown the door, there had been internal meetings where the local official was ambiguously accused of sexual harassment.

It is said while Mokokwe had not been worried about the accusations due to her perceived innocence, the matter escalated as the alleged victim needed psychological assistance claiming to have been sexually harassed.

A close source to the matter told Sunday Standard that early indications point to political machinations and the sidelining of Mokokwe is a victory to a certain faction of the COSAFA referee’s committees.

“The predicament clouding the matter is sparked by the working relations between Mokokwe and the referees. It seems that the referees were too attached to Mokokwe and listening much on her advises and being a threat to COSAFA referees manager Felix Tangawarima,” the source revealed.

“Some referees believe the dark cloud hovering over Mokokwe was a plot against her. She has since queried her innocence with the regional football mother body COSAFA with the hope that the matter will be fairly investigated,’’ the source told Sunday Standard.

It has emerged that despite the alleged incident occurring on the evening of 28th August 2021, the complaint and Mokokwe were working together until on the 1st September 2021 when Tangawarima addressed a meeting on women with appetite on other women noting that if there is any they must confess or they will be sent back home.

With no one responding to the matter, it is said Mokokwe was called for several meetings and was shamed for poor performance. This follows another meeting after Mokokwe indicated to have never sexually harassed the said official instead touching her skirt as she was on another call alerting her that she is taking a laptop from her room.

However, COSAFA remained cagey on the matter saying it is a norm that underperforming officials are returned home. In response, COSAFA Secretary General Sue Destombes said: “It is standard procedure during a tournament, in particular Cosafa tournaments, that match officials whose performance is below par are released from the tournament. This is the case in point and the Official from Botswana, after a performance appraisal together with the Official concerned, has been released. As per usual practice, the home Association of the official concerned is notified of the early release and the reason for this.”

Efforts to reach Botswana Football Association (BFA) went futile by press time as BFA chief executive officer (CEO) Goabaone Taylor’s phone rang unanswered.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper