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Sidinile in the dock to pay BSA

The future of one of the region’s heavyweight promoters Sijuta Promotions remains uncertain after Boxing SA confirmed that the promoter’s future will be up for discussion in a board meeting on Saturday.

But despite the controversy, Sijuta boss Andile Sidinile, is adamant that it will be business as usual once he has paid over money owing to the regulatory body. Sidinile is in the spotlight for failing to pay some of the boxers who fought in one of his tournaments in April last year.

Among those he owes money to, is Boxer of the Year Xolisani “Nomeva” Ndongeni and former world champion Simpiwe Vetyeka. Since the debacle, Vetyeka has bolted from Sijuta’s camp and will now fight in Morocco in a Gary Hyde promoted show on February 18.

Faced with mounting pressure from the boxers, BSA undertook to pay them out of its own coffers in lieu of Sidinile settling with them at a later date.

Sidinile was hauled into a disciplinary hearing at BSA’s offices in December where, among others, he was given a February 15 deadline to repay the money or face the prospect of having his licence revoked.

BSA has opened the licence renewal window for this financial year with a closing date not yet decided. “Yes we attended the disciplinary hearing and I was given up until February 15 to settle the amount,” said Sidinile.

Despite the mounting pressure, Sidinile is adamant that he will meet the deadline.

So confident is he of his promotion company’s future, that he is organising a tournament on February 26 where former IBO featherweight champion, Lusanda Komanisi, will be in action.

“Yes we are busy organising the tournament after getting funding from Buffalo City Metro.”

Funding by the metro raised eyebrows with some questioning the decision by the municipality to fund Sidinile when he still had issues to sort out with BSA.

While BSA chief executive Tsholofelo Lejaka declined to comment, sources reveal that Sidinile’s future as a promoter was hanging by a thread with the board expected to make a decision on its licence on Saturday.

“I would rather not comment for now until after the board meeting on Saturday,” said Lejaka. The board, on which Sidinile once served, is understood to be gunning for his head – even if he meets the February 15 deadline.

But Sidinile is unfazed by the prospect of losing his licence, emphasising that such reports were just hearsay.

“I want to state categorically that Sijuta is not suspended and is still trading normally,” he said.

“I have been hearing rumours that we are no longer in business and that cannot be further from the truth.

“We are in the process of sorting out the issue with BSA and so far all is good,” he added.

Sijuta has not organised a tournament since the April debacle.

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