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Boxing legend Ndou to contest 2024 elections

‘I'm not trying to be a hero, just playing my part’

World boxing champion turned lawyer Lovemore “Black Panther” Ndou addressed the masses in Australia about his political journey back home in South Africa.
World boxing champion turned lawyer Lovemore “Black Panther” Ndou addressed the masses in Australia about his political journey back home in South Africa.
Image: Supplied

Former two-weight world boxing champion turned lawyer Lovemore “Black Panther” Ndou is stepping into the political ring back home.

Ndou, who has lived in Australia since 1995, says he had a briefing last week where he informed a huge crowd in Sydney, which included the current New South Wales Premier, Chris Minns, that he will be running as an independent candidate in the 2024 general elections in SA.

The decision follows an announcement earlier this year by President Cyril Ramaphosa that independent candidates can now run in national elections without having to be affiliated to a political party.

“I was already in the process of putting together a political party to be called, BABSA [Building a Better SA] when Ramaphosa made the announcement to allow independent candidates to run in national elections,” said Ndou today.

“The aim was to contest the 2029 elections but when I heard the news, I decided to run in the next elections as an independent candidate.

“The decision to go into politics is a profound one I did not make based on personal ambitions only. It is a decision I made based on the need to bring change in SA, the need to build a better SA for all, a SA that will guarantee a future for our children.”

Ndou knows the journey he is about to embark on and that it will not be easy.

“I know I am going to put my life at risk. And I know I am going to upset a lot of people along the way and be a threat to a lot of them,” said the former IBF junior welterweight and IBO welterweight boxing champion from Musina, Limpopo.

“I know they will do anything to derail my mission, including most probably attempts to assassinate me, but I am prepared to die for my country of birth. I am prepared to die fighting the good fight. I fight for what I believe.

“I believe God put me in this world for a purpose and with the support of the Almighty and the people of SA, nothing can stop me. I am not trying to be a hero but I’m just playing my part as a responsible citizen.”

He says people want change, irrespective of race, gender, political or religious beliefs.

“They are all victims of the same failed government,” he said. “I know people want a guaranteed future for their children. This is what gives me faith and hope that, with the support of the people, I can build a better SA.

“Once I secure a seat in the National Assembly, I will be in a position to scrutinise and judge the activities, policies and legislation of the government. I will be able to operate as the voice of the voiceless and act as a check on the power of the government of the day.”

He says he will be in a position to decide matters of national interest while also representing the interests of the people in his Limpopo province.

“I will be able to propose, debate and vote on bills and amendments,” said Ndou.

“I am running for office because I believe the country is in trouble. The country is on the brink of collapse due to corruption and self-enrichment by those in power.

“The current ruling party, the ANC, has had 30 years to balance things, but has failed and will continue to do so. Currently there is no alternative voice to the ANC that is better organised.

“That is, none of the current opposition parties are fit enough to form a viable alternative government.”

Asked why he thought he was the right candidate, the former boxing world champion, Hall of Fame Inductee, prominent lawyer, author and former soldier (a highly trained infantry soldier who served as a reservist in the Australian Defence Force until recently), said: “It’s very simple. Unlike the ANC, or any of the opposition parties or independent candidates, I have no ulterior motive other than to serve the people of SA and lead the country out of the crisis created by the ANC. I am deeply grounded in the best aspirations of the country and I am not afraid to speak out and call out culprits.

“What further separates me from the current unfit leaders is that I bring a combination of intellectual rigour, intelligence and moral compass inextricably intertwined and intermingled. It will be my pleasure, honour and duty to serve SA.”

Known worldwide as the brainiest boxer, with seven degrees ranging from law, communication, politics, human rights law, international law, international relations, governance and policy, Ndou recently knocked back an offer by New South Wales premier Chris Minns to join the Labour Party, the current governing party in Australia.

“We have enough qualified men and women in Australia to run politics here, whereas we lack qualified leaders in SA. So, I chose to go serve my country of birth,” he said, adding that he had played his part in Australia and had given back to the community.

“As a lawyer, I have made it my duty and responsibility to take on at least 20 to 30 cases each year, particularly involving indigenous people, on a pro bono basis,” he said.

“I have also served in the Australian Defence Force as a reservist. During Covid-19 lockdowns, floods or any other disasters that affected the country, I was out there assisting the community. Now it’s time to save SA from a failed government.

“The ANC has nothing else to offer but blame. It blames all its failures on apartheid and a white monopoly which is non-existent.

“If I have the great privilege to lead the country someday, I will wage a war against corruption. I will make millions of rand available to fight corruption and I will pass a law to ensure that all ill-gained assets and proceeds of crime are returned to the state and/or rightful owners. And I will pass strong laws to ensure that those who engage in corruption do not escape the long arm of the law.

“I will also dispose of BEE and replace it with a policy that will allow a broader participation in the economy by all people of SA without compromising the economy, irrespective of race, gender, religious or political beliefs. BEE is the trigger for an avalanche of corruption in the new SA. It is a failed policy that creates irresponsibility and entitlement, and leads to potential investors deserting the country. It is a policy that is only benefiting the ANC elite.”

His government, he said, will ensure that the rule of law remains sacrosanct.

“I will ensure that the separation of powers works,” he said. “I will make millions of rand available to fight the housing crisis. Under my leadership, there will be no more shack dwellings.

“My administration will strive to ensure that everyone is entitled to a free and better education. It will ensure and guarantee better training and a pay raise for schoolteachers. I will make sure that a child that attends a public school has and feels the same hope as the child who attends a private school.

“I will put in place great infrastructures to eradicate the current water crisis and will ensure load shedding is a thing of the past by improving the current infrastructures while introducing renewables.”

Ndou said there will be no farm killings and his administration will make millions of rand available to improve and strengthen our police and military forces. “I will not hesitate to use military force to take out criminals who pose a direct threat to our farmers,” he promised. “Our farmers will no longer live in fear within the confines of their farms.

“And under my leadership, there will be no land expropriation without compensation. The policy of expropriation without compensation can only achieve one thing only: defeating the security of property rights, which is a necessary precondition for prosperity and a thriving economy. It is a policy used by tyrants and dictators to control the economy and to hold complete autocratic control.”

He said those were just a few of his immediate aims. On Saturday, Ndou received a Legendary Award, a Best Book Author Award and an Appreciation Medal at the Celebration of African Australians Awards.

“It’s always a pleasure to be recognised for the work I do. So, I am very grateful and thankful,” said 52-year-old Ndou, who retired as a boxer in 2012 with a record 49 wins and 13 losses.

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