Former Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic who is facing charges of indecent exposure has fled the country, with the help of state officials and his agent Ivica Stankovic who whisked him off to the airport on Saturday night.
His escape from the law, has exposed the South African Police Service’s weakness in dealing with criminal matters. The police had banked on the promise that the Pirates management, had agreed to hand him over to them.
Micho fled the day after. Sunday World reported that deliberations where under way in the police service as to if they could charge Stankovic with defeating the course of justice for aiding Micho to escape.
This came after they mooted the same charge against Pirates director Dominic tsele for failing to hand Micho over to the police. But they did not go that route, after Ntsele issued a convincing statement, leading to their directing the charge against Micho’s agent.
Indecent exposure is a serious criminal offence, which carries a jail term.
A top police officer told Sunday World they had communicated with Ntsele to hand over the Serbian coach to them in Braamfontein, Johannesburg on Sunday morning.
“But we were surprised when we learnt that Micho was at the airport to board a 7.10pm plane
to Dubai on Saturday night. When the police rushed there, he had already boarded the plane leaving for Dubai,” said the cop who declined to be named citing protocol.
Ntsele had reasoned with the police that it was going to taint the team if Micho was to be arrested at training and made arrangements to hand him over instead.
“When we learnt that there was a case opened against him, I personally made a commitment to hand him over on Sunday morning. On Friday, Micho resigned as the club coach and said he was depressed because his mother was sick. So I phoned the police and told them that Micho was no longer in our employ and told them they could do what they want to do with him. But I told them that he had given me an assurance that he would be available for a Sunday meeting,”
He went on to alert the police when he got the news Micho was at the airport.
“Later in the day I sent him several WhatsApp messages and when he failed to respond, I contacted Ivica, who told me that he dropped him off at the airport. I immediately phoned the police and told them that Micho was at the airport and even gave them a flight number but when they arrived there he was gone already. So those who wanted me charged were just being mischievous,” Ntsele added.
Sunday World was reportedly shown the WhatsApp chats sent to Micho by Ntsele asking him not to leave the country.
The publication also had sight of messages between Ntsele and Stankovic indicating they had spoken about the Micho matter on Friday after his resignation.
Stankovic confirmed that he dropped Micho off at the airport, but professed ignorance that Micho was on police wanted list.
“Why do you call me on Saturday when I’m sleeping? You are disrespectful. Yes, I dropped him [off at the airport] but who said I knew that he was wanted by the police?” said Stankovic before he terminated the call.
Police spokesperson Kay Makhubele was evasive on questions and only repeated the same response he gave to Sunday World last week.
Home affairs spokesperson Thabo Mokgola said they had not been given the news that Micho was wanted, so he had a smooth passage at the immigration.
The matter has since triggered national security concerns. How he managed to buy plane ticket, left via a government officials manned point of exit, without alarm being raised by these officials who allegedly knew he was wanted.
Many questions like who cleared him are now propping up. Some are beginning to view it as a state officials assisted escape. How many foreigners are allowed to easily escape justice assisted by officials? People are asking. And calls are that those who assisted him to evade arrest should be charged alongside him, when he would eventually arrested.