Mbalula is in boxing’s corner

2010-12-19 12:59

Minister of Sports and Recreation Fikile ­Mbalula continued to be a man of action this weekend when he announced major ­changes in boxing.

Mbalula announced that the new CEO of Boxing SA (BSA) – a position which has been vacant since Bongani Khumalo ­departed two years ago – would be appointed next month.

He also announced the secondment of Professor Paul Singh as a BSA ex-officio board member, while Makoto Matlala would provide technical assistance.

Mbalula also promised to appoint a chief financial officer, saying the absence of such an official since the organisation’s inception was partly the reason why BSA reportedly found itself owing the South African Revenue Service more than R5 million.

The effervescent minister has made a commitment to attend to the infighting within the sport that has almost led to some fight personalities exchanging blows.

“I have already met BSA twice with a view to understanding the current challenges facing boxing in South Africa and to chart a way forward,” said Mbalula, who was appointed two months ago.

“I now understand their problems fully and am in the process of tackling key issues. I am optimistic that all will ­gradually be well.”

The minister’s swift move was seen as a breath of fresh air within the boxing fraternity, with an ecstatic Rainbow ­Promotions boss, Pat Molefe, declaring: “Mbalula looks like a hands-on man and we are excited about him as he is approaching people rather than relying on hearsay. He will straighten out a lot of things in the game.”

Trainer Norman Hlabane echoed Molefe’s sentiments, saying: “The
future of boxing looks bright since Mbalula took charge. He is shown to have the sport’s interest at heart. We are thrilled that unlike his predecessor (Makhenkesi Stofile), Mbalula is not

Jeff Ellis, the man who has virtually done it all in boxing, said: “Mbalula is giving boxing the concentration it ­deserves.”

Platinum Promotions’ boss, Dan Maphalala, although welcoming, was more cautious.

“Mbalula will need to engage the stakeholders when he appoints a CEO.

“Previous bosses like Krish Naidoo, Thabo Moseki and Dumile Mateza did not do a good job. We need a very strong personality. However, we are pleased that Mbalula is full of energy and could make a fine boxer himself.”

BSA’s chairperson, Dr Peter Ngatane, said: “We are privileged to have an
enthusiastic minister.

“He is fired-up and has already met us twice and the meetings were productive.”

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