BSA board must throw in the towel

THE board of Boxing SA, whose tenure ends in May next year, must be dissolved.

THE board of Boxing SA, whose tenure ends in May next year, must be dissolved.

The four-man committee of Peter Ngatane (chairperson), Sakhiwo Sodo, Claude Bassuday and Archie Jonas has done more harm than good to the sport.

There have been calls for them to be expelled, supported by the Democratic Alliance, but it seems those fell on deaf ears.

Instead, Sports Minister Makhenkesi Stofile, who appointed the board members on May 25 last year, has roped in boxing commentator Dumile Mateza and former boxing writer Mesuli Zifo to examine the weaknesses in the Boxing Act, to make Boxing SA financially self-sufficient.

Bongani Khumalo resigned as chief executive in May and Loyiso Mtya took over in an acting capacity.

Rules and regulations have been disregarded since Mtya took over but the entire board must bite the bullet.

Tournaments have gone ahead without purse money.

Recently a boxing tournament went ahead without paramedics. This is a fundamental requirement for any promoter staging a boxing event.

Neurologists should be a must at they ringside to deal with head injuries and this has not been the case in local tournaments.

To illustrate this, British boxer Michael Watson collapsed in the ring against Chris Eubank in their rematch on September 21 1991.

Watson was in a coma for 40 days. He underwent six brain operations, and suffered permanent partial paralysis. He sued the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBoC) for negligence and won damages reputedly around $1million.

The high court ruled that the BBBoC was responsible for medical provision at a fight and that administering oxygen and resuscitation on site would have made a considerable difference to Watson's chances of recovery.

The BBBoC did not appeal to the House of Lords. It sold its London headquarters to pay out a $400000 compensation settlement.

Here on September 5 last year, Henry Ngubane, 31, collapsed during his fight with Norman Tshisikhawe.

Ngubane was rushed to the hospital where he suffered permanent injuries to the left side of his brain, resulting in his left leg not functioning well.

Samora Msophi, 23, collapsed inside the ring. He was taken to a hospital after a long delay due to paramedics' equipment not functioning properly.

He died a few days after an operation to remove a clot on his brain.

What will happen to Boxing SA, which does not have money, if the families of Ngubane and Msophi decide to sue the national body for negligence?

The board and its administrative staff at the Nasrec office must do the honourable thing and resign. It's long overdue, anyway.

I take my leave.