Zifa board member under investigation

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ZIFA has opened a probe into allegations of sexual harassment levelled against one of its board members — Bryton Malandule — who yesterday said he had nothing to hide.

He faces a potential suspension to pave way for the probe and its final conclusion.
Malandule — the board member in charge of Referees — has been brought into the spotlight following formal complaints by female match officials implicating him and another official over allegations of sexual harassment.
The victims claimed they were asked for sexual favours in exchange of getting assignments to take charge of matches and career development opportunities.
Besides the sexual harassment claims, there are also further allegations that senior members of the Zifa Referees’ Committee pressurised match officials to handle certain teams in a favourable manner last season.
Malandule said he would not dwell on the probe because it would be viewed as interference by those carrying out the investigations.
“As a board member appointed by the people, I will concentrate on executing my duties. And those other things, I will let the due process take its course because if I say anything, I will again be accused of interfering with the process,” Malandule told the Daily News yesterday.
Zifa communications manager Xolisani Gwesela confirmed that the association was seized with the probe.
“We indicated that people should bring their complaints and the relevant Zifa body will look into it.
“The complaints have since been filed and the process is now underway and what I can confirm is that the complaints were levelled against a member of the referees committee.
“As for the details from what transpired during last weekend’s board meeting; they will be shared at the appropriate time,” Gwesela said.
With the entire globe now taking issues of sexual harassment very seriously especially after the “Me Too Movement”, the probe could attract a lot of interest, with Zifa promising transparency throughout its process to establish the facts.
In recent years, football has grabbed the headlines over allegations of sexual harassment with a recent case being the banning of the former general secretary of Afghanistan Football Federation (AFF) Sayed Aghazada for failing to act on allegations made by women’s national team players.
The female players’ complaints related to alleged sexual abuses between 2013 and 2018, at a time when Aghazada was general secretary.
In April this year, the president of the Haitian football federation Yves Jean-Bart was accused of sexually abusing young female footballers at the country’s national training centre.
Fifa’s ethics committee has now opened an investigation into the claims, while the victims say they have been threatened and told to drop their accusations.

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