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Boxing boss explains why he overruled Nkomo

Nkomo's mandate is to ensure that if no purse monies have been deposited, a tournament cannot go ahead.
Nkomo's mandate is to ensure that if no purse monies have been deposited, a tournament cannot go ahead.

Boxing SA chairman Peter Ngatane has confirmed that although there was a letter from chief operations officer Cindy Nkomo cancelling a tournament at weekend, he instructed that it go ahead.

Promoter Ayanda Matiti's Xaba Promotions tournament in East London on Friday night had initially been called off by Nkomo because purse money had not been deposited with the BSA. Only 10% of the total purse money had been paid.

Nkomo had no request from Matiti to reinstate the tournament after it was cancelled.

Nkomo's mandate is to ensure that if no purse monies have been deposited, a tournament cannot go ahead.

But Nkomo was overruled and the board resolution was set aside, specifically for the tournament.

Dida Team's recent tournament was similarly cancelled for nonpayment of the purse but no exception for him was made. However, after he ultimately paid up all purse monies, his tournament was subsequently reinstated and it happened in Kagiso on Friday.

Ngatane and other board member Khulile Radu were already in East London when all this happened. Apparently, BSA's provincial manager Phakamile Jacobs had also been instructed by the office of BSA in Pretoria not to conduct the weigh-in on Thursday.

But Jacobs was instructed by both Ngatane and Radu to conduct the weigh-in.

Jacobs could not defy the chairman, so he did as told but that was later in the afternoon at about 5pm instead of 1pm.

Ngatane first confirmed that purses covering boxers were deposited a week prior to Friday, and that the delay to the weigh-in was caused by an interdict by "some people" lobbying for the cancellation of the tournament.

"We were waiting for the result of the interdict, and when they lost the interdict in court with costs, we then conducted the weigh-in. But I had briefed other board members as well as the CEO [Tsholofelo Lejaka] who had an audit meeting," said Ngatane.

"The delay of the monies being paid was because of the disbursement from the Buffalo City municipality [which was part of the sponsors of the tournament to honour Nelson Mandela].

"I had a meeting with the speaker of Buffalo City municipality [Alfred Mtsi] who requested that the tournament should go ahead, and also the office of the MEC for sport expressed full support of the event. I briefed the CEO that I had taken the decision to allow the tournament to go ahead because if the tournament was cancelled, it would mean serious danger to both the country and the sport. The tournament was to honour Mandela. Remember, world bodies [WBA, WBC and IBO] and international boxers were already here [in East London]. No one faltered. If any, I will take responsibility."

Nkomo could not comment when contacted yesterday, while attempts to reach Lejaka were unsuccessful.

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