Boxing SA relieved by Kodwa’s reply

The minister says he is moving to normalise boxing

Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Zizi Kodwa has delivered a statement about the future of boxing in SA.
Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Zizi Kodwa has delivered a statement about the future of boxing in SA.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi

The fight fraternity breathed a sigh of relief  after sports minister Zizi Kodwa delivered a statement about boxing.

They had been  intensely worried by his deafening silence  after  he lost a court case to the National Professional Boxing Promoters Association (NPBPA) last month.

Kodwa was responding to letters written by the NPBPA to President Cyril Ramaphosa, speaker of the National Assembly Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, and Beauty Dlulane – who is chairperson of parliament’s portfolio committee on sport, arts and culture – complaining about his conduct.

Operations at Boxing SA  ground to a halt since the NPBPA successfully interdicted the new seven-member board of Boxing SA appointed by Kodwa from taking office on December 12

Right now there is no board; there is also no sanctioning committee to approve  proposed tournaments by promoters.

The three-year term of the board of Boxing SA and those of both the sanctioning and ratings committees also expired on December 11. They  exist in parallel with  the terms of the board of Boxing SA.

It is the sitting board of Boxing SA  that appoints them. It is also the sanctioning committee that issues clearances to boxers to travel outside SA for fights.

But the whole process is managed by BSA’s medical committee, which gets medical reports from facilities that conduct medical tests on boxers. Once satisfied, it makes its recommendation to the sanctioning committee for the clearance to be granted or denied.

The letter from Kodwa’s office states that  he has noted the letters by lawyers representing the NPBPA to Ramaphosa and Mapisa-Nqakula.

“The minister’s view is that the matter is before the court. The ministry has no intention to act in a manner that could be construed by the court to be ultra vires. The minister states that these letters are without any substance and that they are an attempt to direct the minister to whom he should appoint.

“The department has provided some assistance to Boxing South Africa so that the federation can meet critical financial obligations. The minister is doing everything in his power to ensure that the administration and governance of boxing is returned to normalcy.” 

In a letter from Mafani and Company Incorporated (dated February 1 2024) to Ramaphosa, Mapisa-Nqakula and Dlulane, the NPBPA complains about Kodwa “undermining” the constitution, “breaching” his oath of office and “breaching” the code of conduct for members of parliament.

It reads: “The minister’s conduct is viewed by the NPBPA as deplorable conduct in that he intentionally violated the constitution when he contravened its provisions entailed in Section 165.”

NPBPA chairman Ayanda Matiti explained that they “cannot allow Zizi to collapse boxing nor can we agree to a wrong tendency; it will not be Zizi who will be remembered for having destroyed boxing but  President Cyril. That is why we have elevated the crisis for his attention at his doorstep.”

The issue on the table is  whether Kodwa’s writing to stakeholders, asking them to nominate who they preferred to serve on the board of Boxing SA, constituted consultation. He stands accused by the NPBPA of not  consulting them.

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