Promoters go to court to have professional boxing shut down

Promoter Ayanda Matiti with the trophy and certificate he received for winning Promoter of the Year in 2023.
Promoter Ayanda Matiti with the trophy and certificate he received for winning Promoter of the Year in 2023.
Image: Michael Sheehan/Gallo Images

Promoters are asking the courts to shut down boxing in the country, arguing it is being run illegally.

But the National Professional Boxing Promoters’ Association (NPBPA) said in papers before the Pretoria high court that the sport could resume normally and quickly if they and sport minister Zizi Kodwa hammer out an agreement.

Having had the Boxing South Africa (BSA) board appointed by Kodwa interdicted in December, the promoters are now arguing that the latest move to keep the sport running is unlawful.

Kodwa last month appointed acting CEO Mandla Ntlanganiso as accounting authority, in terms of the Public Finance Management Act, to effectively replace the board on a temporary basis.

The Boxing Act states that the board must appoint the sanctioning and ratings committees, which are necessary for the professional game to operate.

But in papers before the Pretoria high court the NPBPA is arguing that the appointment of Ntlanganiso as accounting authority by the ministers of sport and finance was “irregular and invalid to the extent that it carries and/or confers in any way, shape or form upon [Ntlanganiso] the powers to sanction boxing fights/tournaments”.

Ntlanganiso appointed sanctioning and ratings committees earlier this week.

The NPBPA also wants to court to rule that any sanctioning of fights and tournaments by BSA is “unlawful and invalid”.

The association, chaired by Ayanda Matiti, further wants the court to order Kodwa to meet the NPBPA within five days of this order “and establish ... a temporary/interim solution that will see boxing taking place in a legitimate manner”.

They want Kodwa to announce resolutions from their meeting and that these would take place immediately.

Kodwa lost the interdict in December because he didn’t oppose the NPBPA’s urgent application in court, trying only to have the matter delayed.

The NPBPA’s gripe was that they had not been consulted by Kodwa. The act requires the minister to consult with all associations for all licensees before appointing the board.

Kodwa was not short of grounds to oppose their motion.

Neither Kodwa’s office nor BSA could immediately confirm if the court action would be opposed.


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