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SOWETAN | Kodwa must fix boxing issues fast

Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Zizi Kodwa may appoint an administrator at Boxing SA.
Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Zizi Kodwa may appoint an administrator at Boxing SA.
Image: Shaun Roy/ Gallo Images/ Netball World Cup 2023

Boxing in SA has been in the doldrums for some time now, and the impasse which has beset the sport has the potential to sink it even further if it’s not resolved speedily.

Forever in decline, boxing reached a new low when a court recently barred a newly appointed board from taking office, ordering sports minister Zizi Kodwa to consult with stakeholders before confirming his preferred board members.

It has now been over two months since the court interdicted the new board, but sadly, not a lot has happened since then.  This week we reported that promoters were up in arms over who has sanctioning powers, since BSA’s sanctioning committee is non-existent, after a women-only tournament was given the go-ahead.

This happens at a time when other promoters have had to shelve plans to hold tournaments because they don’t know where to go for approval.

Allegations have now emerged that certain members of the previous board may be wielding power behind the scenes, taking advantage of the vacuum that exists due to Kodwa’s indecisiveness.

We put questions to BSA’s acting CEO Mandla Ntlanganiso, but he didn’t respond, yet this women-only tournament is said to be going ahead on March 2.

Kodwa should long have intervened and put an interim structure in place, so as to facilitate the day-to-day running of the sport. His dispute with aggrieved promoters has more to do with how he appointed a permanent board “without consultation”, but surely, he cannot allow a situation which has led to this free-for-all?

The minister has to show his authority. He must issue clear directives on what should happen, who must be consulted for tournaments to be sanctioned, and what licensees need to do to get their licences renewed while the matter of the permanent board is being resolved.

Boxing has long lost popularity and even a good story – such as that of Sivenathi Nontshinga reclaiming the IBF junior flyweight belt by beating Adrien Curiel of Mexico – may not go a long way in repairing the damage.

We congratulate Nontshinga for his heroics, but this is a sport that used to promote more world champions, putting SA on the world stage. It can’t do so when the sport’s authorities are bickering over basic things such as a board appointment.

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