Officials’ sleepless night mars boxing tournament

Great women-only event failed by accommodation issues

02 October 2023 - 09:40
By Bongani Magasela
Promoter Modipadi Kgasago with boxer Lusanda Komanisi. Photo Supplied
Image: Supplied Promoter Modipadi Kgasago with boxer Lusanda Komanisi. Photo Supplied

Modipafi Kgasago took one step forward, but two steps back as a boxing promoter last weekend.

She did wonders in marketing her women-only boxing tournament – Boxing SA’s third leg of the Rise of Women in Boxing Series – at Meropa Casino in Polokwane on Friday night.

But Kgasago failed where it mattered most – securing accommodation for six female officials from Gauteng, Free State and Eastern Cape to perform their duties.

Ring officials in SA do not get paid decently by promoters unless they officiate in bouts sanctioned by international bodies.

It is alleged that the six female officials ended up sleeping in the foyer of Meropa Casino, where Kgasago staged her international tournament, which was bankrolled by the Limpopo government.

Asked for comment, Kgasago said: “Meropa Casino was fully booked but I made a plan and got them rooms when other people left. They went there and came back saying those rooms were dirty.

“We then got them rooms in a lodge outside Meropa. They said it was too far for them to go there because they were left with few hours to go back to Johannesburg so they opted to remain  in the foyer.

The tournament ended after midnight. But the expectation is that promoters secure accommodation for all persons who will be involved in their tournaments in advance or on the day of the fight so that they can freshen up before a tournament begins.

Kgasago insisted that the Meropa was fully booked. “I wanted 30 rooms but the department of sports [which sponsored the event] booked us only 20 due to their budget.”

Asked how she felt about officials sleeping in the foyer after offering their services to her, she said: “What happened did not sit well with me, but I tried my best.”

BSA acting CEO Nsikayezwe Sithole and board member Azwitamisi Nthangeni attended the tournament.

Asked for a comment, Sithole said: “We have already received an official complaint from those ring officials. They have given us their side of the story. We will summon the promoter today [Monday] to give us her side of the story and we will make a decision.”