Boxing star Thobela back in court

By Drum Digital
31 March 2016

Former boxing super star turned business baron; Dingaan Thobela is expected to return to the Johannesburg Commercial Crimes court on May 12, still faced with charges of contravening the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act.

By Siyabonga Ngcangisa, Associate Editor

Former boxing super star turned business baron; Dingaan Thobela is expected to return to the Johannesburg Commercial Crimes court on May 12.

He still faces charges of contravening the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act.

Thobela, who owns The Rose Funeral Services, was arrested by The Hawks on May 20 last year and later released on R3000 bail, after he allegedly failed to register his company as a financial services provider.

This, despite his business provided financial services to its customers.

He has, to date, made three court appearances, of which all ended in postponements.

It is not known how it became public knowledge, Thobela’s alleged failure to register the insurance part of his business, but a former business partner says his case was that of “sour grapes from a disgruntled policy member.”

“Apparently he has not even been served with proper charges because this case doesn’t make sense. This whole thing resulted from a client who failed to pay a top up fee on his monthly premium, which would have included a grave. This person refused to pay that top up fee and made up a story that Dingaan’s business was not registered as a financial services provider,” says the former business associate who asked not to be named.

The source adds: “That is why this case keeps getting postponed….it’s very weak to even go to court.”

It is also understood that Thobela’s funeral business was underwritten by a legitimate insurance company when the complaint was first lodged. The insurance company administered the premiums and claims, as it is standard practise when a company is not a financial services business.

“That is why we are all puzzled by this claim that Dingaan’s business was not registered,” says another business associate.

Thobela, a notorious knockout specialist nicknamed “The Rose of Soweto”, would not let the cat out of the bag when contacted by DRUM.

“I’ve been barred from commenting on this because the case is still ongoing. I’ll speak officially after (the court) case,” he said.

Dolf Jonker, his long-serving lawyer, also played his cards close to his chest.

“I can’t say much at this stage; let’s (rather) wait for the case to be wrapped up. We wouldn’t want to sabotage ourselves by speaking out at this stage,” said Jonker.

Thobela was a household name in world boxing circles, in an illustrious career that began in the late 80s until his retirement in 2006. He still remains the only South African boxer to win four world titles, sanctioned by four different world organisations (WBA, WBO, IBO and WBC), while fighting in three different weight divisions.

Boxing records show that out of his 56 fights, he scored 26 knockouts in 40 wins.

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