The court in South Africa has cleared Uganda Cranes Head Coach Milutin Sredojević-Micho of a sexual assault case.
Micho was earlier convicted of sexually assaulting a waitress at the Wolfson Stadium in Port Elizabeth on December 7, 2020, where he had gone to attend the Under-21 Afcon qualifiers. At the time, Micho was head coach of the Zambian National Football team; Chipolopolo after parting ways with Orlando Pirates in South Africa.
In October 2021, Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth) Regional Court found him guilty of two separate offences and sentenced him to three years imprisonment, suspended for five years on the condition that he does not again contravene the Sexual Offences Act.
The ruling meant that if Micho committed a similar offence within the said five years, he would be arrested and required to serve the sentence in jail. But he challenged the conviction and the sentence before the Grahamstown High Court which successfully quashed his conviction.
Commenting on the ruling, Micho said that his reputation and image were questioned after the conviction and the work he had done in the field of play over the past 20 years of being in Africa became meaningless. He said that instead of all the achievements, he was defined by an embarrassing scandal that threatened his career.
“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 about my work and first love; football and being on the field but that of a suspect and convicted person of malicious accusations,” Micho said in a statement.
He added that the judgment not only restores his firm belief in 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.
“I thank every one of my legal team, a bunch of dedicated people who worked tirelessly to bring this chapter behind me. I extend my heartfelt gratitude and appreciation for every word of encouragement and support I received from Football loving people across”, another part of the statement reads.