Sun Sep 24 10:35:51 SAST 2017

Boxing SA's head has 3 criminal convictions

By David Isaacson | 2013-09-19 07:15:37.0

THE man tasked with running professional boxing in South Africa has a criminal record and also quit his previous job after being found guilty of dishonesty, the Johannesburg High Court heard yesterday.

Boxing SA chief executive Moffat Qithi was testifying in the defamation case against himself and BSA by promoter Branco Milenkovic.

Milenkovic alleges he was unfairly blamed for world champion Noni Tenge being stripped of her IBF welterweight crown in July 2012.

He is claiming R4-million in damages.

Under cross-examination by Laurance Hodes SC, Qithi admitted that he had three previous convictions - possession of stolen property in 1995, driving under the influence in 2006 and drinking in public in 2011.

He is currently facing a charge of driving under the influence last year.

When Hodes asked him if he had disclosed his criminal record when applying for the BSA job in 2011 - the Boxing Act says the chief executive officer cannot have been convicted of any offence involving dishonesty - Qithi replied he had asked the police to check his record and they had told him it was no longer there.

"We are told that these things lapse after time," Qithi said, adding later that the act stated that it was BSA which must appoint a suitable chief executive officer.

Hodes also asked him about his previous employment, including when he worked as chief operations officer at Walter Sisulu University in Eastern Cape.

Qithi said he had resigned from there, but Hodes countered he had been dismissed after being found guilty of "dishonesty, insubordination, dereliction of duty and gross negligence".

Qithi replied: "I was never dismissed, I resigned . I was never found guilty ... They had put those charges to me."

"You resigned before any sanction could be imposed," countered Hodes, saying the hearing had ended on April 3 2010 but that Qithi had resigned five days later.

A few times during the cross-examination, Hodes accused Qithi of lying and lacking integrity.

Hodes put it to Qithi that he was not suitable for the job as CEO for which he earns a package exceeding R1-million and had failed all the requirements of the job as set out by the act, such as marketing the sport and accounting.

Asked what he had done to market the sport, Qithi replied that the matter had been discussed but that there had been no money to do anything.

He was unable to estimate how much had been spent for BSA to conduct its road shows to the provinces to meet licensees, to which Hodes replied that he was unable to account for money.

Qithi also admitted that he had no performance agreement in place with the minister of sport and BSA, as required by law.

Explaining his three convictions, Qithi said the stolen property had been a car which he had bought in good faith, while for the other two convictions he had paid admission of guilt fines without realising that these would go down on his criminal record.

The case, before Judge Margaret Victor, continues today.