Boxing loses a stalwart
THE Lord Mayor - man about town and boxing personality Marope Moss Tau - is no more.
A former boxing promoter and matchmaker, Tau's laughter always filled the room. His demeanour also meant he was a friend to all. Together with promoter Mike Segal, Tau was behind the rise of legendary Arthur "Fighting Prince" Mayisela, who was fatally crushed by a motorist while changing the wheel of his car in September 17 1986. He was aged 32.
Tau, 87, had mapped the route of Mayisela to perfection. Despite an infamous technical draw with Harold Volbrecht during the apartheid era, Mayisela was still firmly on the way to a world welterweight title fight.
High court judge BH Mbha remembered Tau: "I have known Moss 'The Lord Mayor' Tau for over 30 years. I was a member of the inaugural SA Boxing Control Commission set up in 1994, which was the aftermath of a protracted activism to democratise the sport of boxing and rid it of the effects of apartheid and of the old SA Boxing Board.
"The Lord Mayor and others who are now departed, including Joe Gumede and Theo Mthembu, were at the forefront of that battle.
"The Lord Mayor's contribution to the development of the sport is unparalleled. He and his then partner Mike Segal promoted many well publicised boxing matches, including world title fights involving among others Jacob 'Baby Jake' Matlala, which put SA on the world map of boxing ...
"I am proud that in 2002 the then Gauteng Provincial Boxing Control Commission, of which I was a member and legal advisor, honoured The Lord Mayor, and in recognition of his immense contribution to boxing named him 'Matchmaker of the Year'."
Tau will be buried in Thaba Nchu, Free State, tomorrow.