BSA plans to bring in more young blood

Thysse worried about health of elderly boxing officials

Boxing promoter Andre Thysse is concerned that the lives are being put at risk by appointing older officials.
Boxing promoter Andre Thysse is concerned that the lives are being put at risk by appointing older officials.
Image: Antonio Muchave

In what Luthando Jack described as part of the renewal of boxing in SA, the Boxing SA chair said they want administrative staff and ring officials to be within the age limit of employment that is determined by SA labour legislation.

He was reacting to a suggestion from concerned boxing promoter Andre Thysse who said they were gravely concerned about the lives of some ring officials during the pandemic.

Thysse said that he was specifically talking about those who are 60 and above. The Gauteng promoter said the government advised citizens a year ago that people who are 60 years old and older must work from home. Just last week BSA lost 67-year-old ring official Neville Hotz to Covid-19.

Said Thysse: “BSA still allows elderly citizens like Jaap van Niewenhuizen, 73, to continue getting involved in the day-to-day running of boxing in the province.”

Van Niewenhuizen is not only a boxing referee and a judge but is also BSA’s acting provincial manager in Gauteng. The same applies to Van Niewenhuizen’s colleague in the Eastern Cape, Phakamile Jacobs, who is well over 60. 

“There is also a number of other ring officials who are above that age group and they still get appointed to render their services,” said Thysse.

"We are putting people’s lives at risk. Actually, what BSA is doing is not good at all. Jaap goes to press conferences, weigh-ins and attends tournaments. He mingles with a lot of people and who knows their status. It appears as if BSA does not care for elderly people. There is a young guy, Lehlohonolo Ramagole, who was acting with Jaap.”

Ramagole was “removed” from that post by acting BSA CEO Cindy Nkomo in April. Without going into details , Nkomo wrote a memo that read in part: “Jaap Van Niewenhuizen will be the sole official to act in the position of the Gauteng provincial manager.

“Lehlohonolo Ramagole takes up his appointed role as the Boxing SA receptionist and thus will no longer act in the position of the Gauteng provincial manager or any other province as he had previously done.”

Thysse said the board of BSA should employ a permanent provincial manager in Gauteng.

Jack’s response was: "I  agree with Andre but the challenge is we don’t have the pool we can rely on [at] times like these. Phakamile Jacobs in the Eastern Cape is a typical example. You put him aside and who do you put in charge.

“That is why I mentioned our renewal strategy and mentioned that going forward staff of BSA, including ring officials, must be within the age limit of employment as determined by SA labour legislation. We must have a pool of talent, particularly former boxers who can be easily trained to assume different roles. We must build talent so that they can assume jobs in various positions.”

Jack added that they had a positive engagement with licensees in East London last week. “Proposals were made after I had given an outline of the renewal project.”

BSA began its roadshow in Gauteng. The third leg will be in the Western Cape at the end of the month.

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