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Kodwa names new Boxing SA board that must find new funding model

Sifiso Shongwe has been named chair of the Boxing South Africa board that begins its term on December 12
Sifiso Shongwe has been named chair of the Boxing South Africa board that begins its term on December 12

Sport minister Zizi Kodwa has swept out all but one member of the controversial Boxing South Africa (BSA) board, on Tuesday announcing a new executive where women outnumber men four to three.

Former promoter Sifiso Shongwe will chair the board that begins its three-year term on December 12.

The only survivor from the incumbent crop is Sakhiwe Sodo, who stood up to the board a few months ago when he refused to sanction an unrated boxer for a South African title bout.

The board, which over-ruled Sodo and allowed the title fight to go ahead, has come under fire several times, often for seemingly acting in contravention of the laws and regulations that govern professional boxing.

The other new board members are Princess Mangoma, Nande Mheshe, Luxolo September, Romy Titus and Dr Mary-Gene Manthata-Setati.

Kodwa said the new board’s first task would be to appoint a full-time CEO, adding he had already discussed this with Shongwe.

“I raised the matter we need to do everything we can to bring this sport back to its glory day,” Kodwa said, referring to the era when local fans woke up at 3am to watch South African stars fighting abroad.

The CEO issue has dogged the regulator for a decade, since CEO Moffat Qithi was suspended in 2013 after it emerged that he had a criminal record, which the Boxing Act prevents.

He was fired in 2015, but subsequently won his case at the CCMA, which BSA has fought and lost legally since then, throwing in the towel after failing at the Constitutional Court recently.

It has been reported that this legal fiasco will cost BSA R11m, more than half its traditional R19m grant from government.

Asked if the new board would have to carry this cost or if government would help, Kodwa reiterated that budgets were tight and said BSA would have to review its funding model, which is heavily depended on the grant.

It should look to the corporate sector, he added. “You can’t have an entity that still depends on government at this stage. It’s not possible with all the challenges we face in terms of our Fiscus.

“So we need to look at corporate, but you can’t do that if you don’t have stable leadership and you’re not right in terms of corporate governance.

“If you look at the composition of the new board they bring diverse expertise, skills and so on, it’s the people who bring the stability we need in BSA.”

Kodwa also announced that South Africa would stage the ICC’s 2024 Under-19 Cricket World Cup from January 20 to February 11.

Sri Lanka lost its status as host nation after being suspended by the world governing body for government interference.

Kodwa named the new Eminent Persons Group, which is responsible for overseeing transformation in sport. They are Dr Sithembile Mbete (chair), Nonhlanhla Nzuza, Ria Ledwaba, Dr Len Konar, Ivor Hoff, Samkelo Radebe, Andile Nqini, Maxwell Jordaan, Professor Christo de Coning and Ciska Austin.

The newly-appointed independent advisory panel to drive professionalism in netball is Maria Bezuidenhout, Nozipho Jafta, Blanche De la Guerre, Zanele Mdodana and Dr Hajira Mashego.

Kodwa also said rapid progress was being made in updating the anti-doping legislation to satisfy the World Anti-Doping Agency that suspended South Africa for noncompliance recently.

“The Bill was formally placed in the Government Gazette on November 23.”


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