Sport

HATS IN THE RING

Sports Minister Zizi Kodwa names new Boxing SA board

Sports Minister Zizi Kodwa names new Boxing SA board
Ricardo Malajika and Marcel Braithwaite during the Power House Boxing Tournament at Emperors Palace in Johannesburg on 5 April 2024. (Photo: James Gradidge / Gallo Images)

The new board, chaired by promoter Sifiso Shongwe, has been tasked with restoring the integrity of boxing in South Africa.

Minister of Sports Zizi Kodwa has announced the new Boxing South Africa (BSA) board which is charged with leading the facelift of the sport in the country. The new board will be in place until May 2027.

Respected boxing promoter Sifiso Shongwe will chair the new board. He is joined by sports psychologist Koketjo Tsebe, sports journalist Romy Titus and Luxolo September, the chief of communications at the Confederation of African Football.

Rounding off the seven-member board are Nande Mheshe, Luvuyo Precious Bayeni and the sole surviving member of the previous board, Sakhiwe Sodo. These board members were picked from 14 hopefuls who attended interviews.    

Kodwa has tasked the new board with revitalising the sport of boxing in South Africa and returning it to the great heights it once scaled.

The minister encouraged the newly elected suits to come up with a renewal and recovery strategy and to ensure good corporate governance and ethical leadership at the floundering federation.

“The time has come for all leadership, managers, trainers and boxers to put all squabbles behind. I urge the South African boxing fraternity to return to the arenas and boxing and to lift boxing in South Africa,” Kodwa said.

The minister also extended his gratitude to Mandla Ntlanganiso, who served as BSA’s accounting authority and kept the ship afloat by sanctioning fights (among other executive duties) while the search for new crew members was ongoing.                                   

Boxing SA Zizi Kodwa

Sports Minister Zizi Kodwa watches the South Africa captain’s run at Stade des Fauvettes in Domont, France, on 27 October 2023 before the Rugby World Cup final against New Zealand. (Photo: David Rogers / Getty Images)

Take two

In November 2023, Kodwa appointed a new Boxing SA board after the term of office of the previous board, elected in 2020 and chaired by Luthando Jack, had expired.

But soon after Kodwa appointed the board, the gloves came off

The National Professional Boxing Promoters’ Association (NPBPA) accused the minister of not following due process, including consulting all relevant stakeholders before appointing the new executive members.

In December, the NPBPA successfully interdicted the would-be board.

Boxing SA

Shaun Potgieter fights Keaton Gomes during the Power House Boxing Tournament at Emperors Palace in Johannesburg on 5 April 2024. (Photo: James Gradidge / Gallo Images)

Kodwa did not oppose the court application by the NPBPA, instead committing to a process to once again elect new board members. He had set 15 May as the deadline for the announcement.

However, he fired a salvo at the boxing community, saying: “The ministry and stakeholders will not be squashed into sardine cans of conformity by self-seeking individuals and delinquents.” 

The previous full-time board, which was appointed in 2020, was accused of several misdemeanours, including sanctioning fights for boxers who were not ready for the international stage, as a result of favouring certain promoters.

The new executive will have to work tirelessly to ensure that boxing once again becomes one of the most popular sports in South Africa. DM

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