Hear my side of the story, pleads banned boxer

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Banned former Gauteng and South African featherweight boxing champion Edward Mpofu alleges that his constitutional rights to state his side of the story regarding the facts of the "plaster of Paris bandages" case were infringed.

Mpofu was charged and found guilty of using a hardening substance on his bandages during his fight against Thanduxolo Dyani at Orient Theatre in East London on September 29.

Two weeks ago, Mpofu, who lost that fight, was banned for life. But the boxer from Soweto said that he was not afforded the right to state his case.

Section 35 (3) of the Constitution states "that every accused person has the right to a fair trial, which includes the right to adduce and challenge evidence".

Mpofu's trainer Eugene Khanyilewas initially charged for a similar offence which was later reduced to negligence because of a lack of evidence.

Khanyile, whose duties included bandaging Mpofu's hands, was found guilty, slapped with a 10-year ban or R20 000 fine, of which R10 000 was suspended for five years, whereas Mpofu "can no longer support my unemployed family of four".

Judgment was passed by presiding officer Kanene Dokolwane.

Boxing SA was represented by Mzwandile Mqanto while Mpofu and Khanyile were represented by Mava Malla.

The accused and their representative were not present when judgment was served. They left after Malla's request for a postponement was turned down.

Mpofu said he was not asked a single question throughout the proceedings . He did not plead.

Attempts to get Dokolwane were unsuccessful but Loyiso Mtya, who was part of the hearing, said Mpofu did not speak simply because he, Khanyile and their legal representative walked out of the hearing.

"But Mpofu has the right to appeal," he said.