'The Angel' calls for Mthobi's return as chair

Kaizer Mabuza and Isaac Hlatshwayo during their welterweight bout in Sandton in this file picture.
Kaizer Mabuza and Isaac Hlatshwayo during their welterweight bout in Sandton in this file picture.
Image: Lefty Shivambu / Gallo Images

Former SA and IBO lightweight champion Isaac "The Angel" Hlatshwayo says the boxing fraternity must persuade sport minister Nathi Mthethwa to bring back Mthobi Tyamzashe as chairperson of the board of Boxing South Africa (BSA) next year.

BSA board members are appointed by the sports ministry. The current board of Peter Ngatane (chairperson), Mzamo Gumbi, Khulile Radu, Luthando Jack, Zandile Kabini, Letlohogonolo Noge-Tungamirai and Gilberto Martins was appointed by former minister Thulas Nxesi in 2017.

Their term ends in May.

Hlatshwayo, who is also ex-IBO and IBF welterweight champion, said when the boxing fraternity cried, Tyamzashe wept. That showed the strength of his affection for the pugilistic sport Tyamzashe served with aplomb for three years as the chairperson, he said.

"We must begin now pushing for Mr Tyamzashe's return so that when the time comes for the minister to appoint others, he must have the idea of who the boxing fraternity prefer," said Hlatshwayo, who made it clear that he was not implying that the current board did not perform well.

"The truth regarding my plea is that there has always been this void since Mthobi left. The sport had direction during his time and sponsors were there. Promoters were more active and that made us boxers to have a wonderful time of our lives," he said.

"It was the nicest time enjoyed by the boxing fraternity in the country."

Tyamzashe brought almost R40m to BSA in 2004. Vodacom sponsored boxing with R27m, SuperSport R8m and Distell R4.3m.

Tyamazashe and CEO Thabo Moseki were able to design Oscars for award winners, introduced monetary incentives for those winners, sent boxers, trainers, managers and promoters to the High Performance Centre in Pretoria and introduced green blazers for national champions.

The boxing fraternity begged then minister Ngconde Balfour to retain Tyamzashe but he would not listen. The three sponsors disappeared when Tyamzashe's term in office expired.