Coach in court for rape charge

POLOKWANE Former Zimbabwe Young Warriors coach, Phillip Mbofana, might be the loneliest Zimbabwean in South Africa when he appears in court here today accused of raping a 27-year-old woman and facing a backlash from his club, which has already suspended him.

Mbofana, the former Zimbabwe Under-20 and Under-23 coach, joined South African Inland Stream side, Black Leopards in August, replacing countryman, Shepherd Murape, on a season-long deal with the option of renewing his stay, based on the teams performance.

The nomadic coach, who has also had coaching stints in his home country and Swaziland, was arrested in South Africas northern town of Polokwane last Thursday and appeared in the Polokwane Magistrates Court on the same day.

He was remanded in custody and will today appear before the same court for a formal bail hearing. Allegations against the coach emanate from his stay at a local hotel, Golden Pillows, last Wednesday, where he was booked in with an unidentified woman.

The woman, believed to be a South African, alleges that Mbofana raped her once in the wee hours of Thursday, according to a police spokesman.

We have such a case that we are dealing with and we expect the suspect (Mbofana) to appear in court on Thursday morning for a bail hearing, said Polokwane police spokesman, Captain Mohlaka Mashiane.

The case has already thrown the Zimbabwean coach into hot water with his club, who do not usually take lightly to being dragged into disrepute. They suspended Mbofana during their league game this past weekend a 2-1 shock home loss to Witbank Spurs at Tshifulanani Stadium Sunday.

One is innocent until proven guilty, but the serious nature of the allegations against the coach warrants that, as management, we take disciplinary action against him, said club owner, Pat Malabela in a media statement.

Whatever final action we will take is subject to the outcome of the criminal proceedings, but at as team, we are very much disturbed by the allegation against the coach.

Post published in: Zimbabwe Sports News

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