JOHANNESBURG – The South African Football Association (Safa) said on Saturday that it would fight in court to ensure disciplinary hearings into sexual misconduct allegations against its Cape Town vice-president Vernon Seymour were not delayed.
“If this person is found guilty he will be fired and banned from football,” said Safa Cape Town president Norman Arendse in a statement.
He said that the organisation was pursuing allegations that Seymour “used his position to try and extract sexual favours from a young female colleague”.
Seymour had obtained an urgent court interdict to stop disciplinary hearings which had been going on in December.
“The granting of this interdict is deplored because the purpose of hearings was to give Seymour an opportunity to be heard,” said Arendse.
He said Safa and the African National Championships (Chan) of which Seymour was competitions manager, would oppose the granting of a final interdict.
Arendse said Seymour was suspended from Safa on November 2, the day after the allegations were brought to the organisation’s attention. A disciplinary hearing was instituted shortly afterwards.
Once informed of the alleged sexual misconduct, Chan also suspended him and sought to hold their own disciplinary hearings.
“Since then Seymour has repeatedly failed to present himself at hearings and sought postponement after postponement. He also offered to resign from Chan,” said Arendse.
He said Chan had also rejected the offer because they wanted justice to be done in an “open and transparent process”.
The Saturday Star reported that Seymour sought the interdict in the Western Cape High Court, denying the allegations and complaining that the two disciplinary hearings were based on the same claims.
Judge Bennie Griesel ruled that the parties be in court on January 21 to show why the disciplinary action should not be stayed pending Seymour’s application. — Sapa