By Shafik Ssenoga
Uganda Cranes’ coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic says he is now a happy man after he was acquitted in a sexual assault case.
Micho was convicted after a South African court heard that he made unwanted sexual advances to a lady during a COSAFA Cup match in December 2020 at the Wolfson Stadium.
But Micho went on to appeal the decision.
“On the 24th August 2022, the Grahamstown High Court sat and heard my appeal on the judgement by the Regional Magistrate court of New Brighton in Port Elizabeth handed down in October 2021. This was in relation to a frivolous case that was brought to the Magistrate court by one Sibabalo Diba who was a face of a devious, unscrupulous and dirty agenda that was executed with an aim to cast aspersions on my name and spit on my public image, reputation and character. It is a case whose intention was to remove my untainted footprints of having been a football servant to this beautiful continent of Africa, a place I call home,” stated Micho in a press release.
“She led a charge to publicly assassinate my good name backed by no substance. She became a messiah for those who had plotted against me, a bunch of faceless cowards who could not outsmart me on the field where I lead and win battles.”
“I became a subject of unpleasant discussions, a reference of a man under a dirty cloud of misdemeanour and lived with a face in total shame. My name no longer was spoken of in relation to my work and first love, football and being on the field, but that of a suspect and convicted person of malicious accusations,” the Serbian said.
Micho pointed out that for the last two years, his image has been questioned, which has affected his career.
“For the past two years, my reputation and image were questioned and the work I had done in the field of play over the past 20 years of being in Africa became meaningless as I was now defined by an embarrassing scandal that threatened my career,” he stated.
The former Orlando Pirates head coach stated: “After close scrutiny and careful considerations of all merits presented by my legal team, the High Court handed down a judgment of my acquittal. I was duly found not guilty on all charges that I was sentenced on which overturned the initial sentence and pronounced on my total innocence on all counts of charges and pronouncing success of my appeal.”
“This came as no shock to me because I had never second guessed my innocence. This judgment does not only restore my firm belief on the objectivity of the criminal justice system of South Africa, but it also reassures us all that none of our rights can be violated without recourse in law.”