Karate unification lauded

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Top karate instructor Peter "Poison" Thage has commended the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee for uniting martial arts in the country.

"We applaud Sascoc, in particular its president Moss Mashishi, for a job well done," said Thage after a new unified Karate South Africa was elected on Saturday.

As expected, Capetonian Leon Beech was elected president, with Isaac "Tiger" Mashinini as his deputy. Noah Bembe is the general secretary.

Additional members are Hoosain Narker and Sanette Smit (Western Province); Sydney Zilimbola and Soon Pretorius (Gauteng) and Stanley Khoza (KwaZulu-Natal).

Full contact will submit a name for another woman nominee in the near future after consultation with their members.

At the same meeting, Frans Mamabolo was also appointed to the new executive to represent University Sport South Africa.

"The elections were free and fair, I have no qualms. Karate is the winner today and it's good that we are working together again," said Thage.

The Ekurhuleni-based administrator said he will support the new leadership, despite having lost in the elections.

"One of the things that we will urge them to do is to speak to SABC Sport so that karate can also get airtime on television like other sporting codes."

Beech said he was humbled by the support shown by all the regions, saying his executive will work hard to transform the sport.

Prior to the election, Tembisa school master Cass Sehloho led an interim committee after Sascoc brought all the karate bodies under one umbrella. After deciding not to make himself available for elections, Sehloho was honoured by KSA as its honorary life president.