BCM braces to leap sport fund hurdles

By MAMELA GOWA and ZINGISA MVUMVU

Buffalo City Metro council is expected to approve R3.7-million in sports sponsorship today despite some looming legal obstacles.

Among the issues BCM’s council meeting has to overcome are:

  • Some of the beneficiaries have already signed BCM letters confirming they are getting up to R800000 each; and
  • A judge on Wednesday interdicting BCM from funding boxing events until it can argue why it should not be ordered to fund left-out boxing promoter Ayanda Matiti.

Matiti, head of Xaba Promotions and Events (XPE), went to court last Friday to seek an interdict against the distribution of the funds.

Judge John Smith granted an interim order (rule nisi) “restraining and preventing BCM from implementing its decision to fund certain boxing events, pending the final determination of the [Matiti] application”. The order will be finalised on December 12 if BCM does not persuade the court to rule otherwise.

In his affidavit, Matiti argued he applied for funds but was excluded while other promoters were invited to submit proposals.

He alleged the process of allocating funds by BCM was conducted in an illegal manner and “in breach of its constitutional obligation to ensure fairness, equity, transparency, competitiveness and a cost-effective manner in dealing with beneficiaries”.

Matiti – a former Eastern Cape chairman of the ANC Youth League – insinuated that his exclusion could be politically motivated. He flagged BCM’s “conduct of allowing politicians [councillors] to participate in tender processes” which he said should be declared “unlawful and unconstitutional”.

Among the companies whose sponsorship is due to be approved by BCM today is Rumble Africa, owned by ANC Amathole regional secretary Teris Ntutu.

According to today’s agenda, BCM mayor Xola Pakati is to ask council to approve the R3.7-million sponsorships urged by the newly established special committee for sports funding.

The committee, chaired by portfolio head of sport and special programmes Xolani Witbooi, has already approved and allocated R5.5-million for 43 sports events including soccer tournaments, rugby, cricket, netball, karate and boxing. The committee may not approve funding of more than R400000 per event.

Four of the five sponsorships to be approved by council, each for R800000, are for boxing tournaments, while the fifth is a R500000 sponsorship for Border rugby.

The four boxing promoters are TZ Promotions; Sijuta; Imvusa Trading and Rumble Africa Promotions.

In a twist, Thando Zonke of TZ promotions and Koko Godlo of Imvusa Trading confirmed they had already signed confirmation letters last week.

Godlo is a member of the ANC regional leadership in the party’s Dr WB Rubusana region (BCM).

“Yes we have [been approved for] the funding,” said Zonke.

“I can’t tell you the figure yet, but we will get it.

“The event has been postponed to December 10. It is a WBA International [fight] and will be held at the Orient Theatre .

“I went to sign at Trust Centre. They didn’t say when they will deposit the money though.”

Godlo said: “I signed last week as I have a fight on December 10.

“I could not hold the fight on November 27 as we had initially planned because the confirmation came so close to the date.

“The tournament will be held at the Indoor Sport Centre in Mdantsane.”

A source from the Border Rugby Union also confirmed that BCM had sponsored them with R500000.

However, Witbooi told the Dispatch yesterday that although funding had been approved by his committee for some of the events, council approval was still required for events that needed more than R400000 in funding.

“They have not been given the money and we now rely on the council to approve the amounts,” he said.

Boxing South Africa (BSA) in the province confirmed upcoming tournaments organised by Rumble Africa Promotions, TZ Promotions and KK Productions (Imvusa Trading) among other events.

But BSA’s Phakamile Jacob said Sijuta Promotions had no boxing tournament scheduled for December 9.

“They were supposed to have hosted a tournament in November but they postponed it to a date yet to be communicated with us,” said Jacobs.

Sijuta’s Andile Sidinile said: “It would be vague of me to comment on something that has not been approved by council yet.

“I can’t say the event will still happen on December 9 – we will have to discuss the new date with BCM as it is not possible to organise a big tournament in one week.”

Ntutu of Rumble Africa Promotions told the Dispatch that although he had applied for sponsorship from BCM, he had not received any confirmation letter to sign. -— zingisam@dispatch.co.za / mamelag@dispatch.co.za

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