‘He messed up an already messed up sport’: Sidinile slams minister’s exit from boxing case

Sport, arts and culture minister Zizi Kodwa appointed the board of Boxing South Africa in November. File photo
Sport, arts and culture minister Zizi Kodwa appointed the board of Boxing South Africa in November. File photo
Image: GCIS

Promoter Andile Sidinile has come out guns blazing when reacting to the withdrawal by sports minister Zizi Kodwa from the battle to prove to court that he made consultations before appointing the board of Boxing South Africa (BSA) in November.

An order from the High Court Gauteng Division, Pretoria, dated March 13 2024 said: “ Please take notice that the first respondent withdraws his notice of intention to oppose dated December 11 2023.”

The National Professional Boxing Promoters’ Association (NPBPA) took Kodwa to court, where they won an interdict, forcing his newly-appointed BSA board to retreat from office.

In papers before the Pretoria high court, the NPBPA argued that Kodwa had failed to consult with the association or its federations before naming the board, which the Boxing Act of 2001 requires him to do.

Sidinile voiced his disappointment about how Kodwa handled himself before the appointment of the new board.

“The irony is it is the only sport governed by an act of parliament, which means it should have structure in legislated procedures and processes,” said Sidinile , who also previously served as a member of the BSA board.

“The standard operating procedure should be non-negotiable as it should have been drawn from the underlying legislation. With all of that in place boxing has been the worst-run sports federation in our country.”

Kodwa appointed the new board for the 2023 to 2027 term, the length of which is provided for by the Boxing Act. The NPBPA was aggrieved and took Kodwa to court to interdict the appointments.

“The minister issued a media statement wherein he indicated he was holding onto the announcement of the board as he had to address legal issues,” Sidinile said.

“A few hours after the media statement, he rescinded the initial statement and decided to go on with the announcement of the appointments. To me that is an indication of a decision to fight to the bitter end in the name of stabilising the sport.

“The minister, instead of fighting, threw the newly-appointed board under the bus. His attorneys did not bother to respond to the NPBPA court papers and fight on.

“They never had a strategy to defend the minister's rights to appoint the board. They did not have an alternative to put forward to the court if their strategy was not working. They were there to contribute to the battering the minister received from the courts.

“Why did he rescind the media statement and go on to appoint the board? What strategy did he have in case his actions had been interdicted? I dare say he had none. Is he aware of risk management?”

Sidinile said Kodwa's silence continued to make the most deafening noise as Boxing was faced with uncertainty and boxers were in the dark.

“Where is Kodwa?” he queried.

“His continued silence shows [he has] no interest in solving the matter he himself created and which caused an information vacuum and played into the hands of speculation.”

Sidinile alleged Kodwa is responsible for sponsors shying away from boxing because of the present instability.

“In boxing terms, the minister threw in the towel to avoid the barrage of punches from the NPBPA.

“It is my opinion that the minister messed up this case from the beginning. He did not have plan A,B or C. He thought being minister gives him all the powers in the world to do as he pleases and in the process he messed up an already messed up sport.”


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