‘Suspension of Mtya a blow‘

2011-04-30 16:36

The suspension of Loyiso Mtya, the acting chief executive of Boxing South Africa (BSA) has marred the Sweet Science.

This was said by Ron Jackson, South Africa’s boxing historian, sage and a man who knows ­local and international fighting like the palm of his hand.

Jackson, a man who has been following boxing locally and internationally for more than 50 years, did not pull punches, ­clinically hitting the target.

“The suspension of Mtya has given boxing a very bad name and I wonder who would want to pour money into boxing after this blemish,” said Jackson.

“I can assure you that the ­latest developments have ­certainly contributed to the downfall of the game.

“The most sore point is that nobody has given reasons for the suspension.”

Jackson (72) said Mtya’s case could have been better handled behind the scenes rather than “disfiguring the face of an already ugly boxing”.

Mtya had been the acting chief executive of BSA for more than 18 months since ­Bongani Khumalo resigned. He was suspended 13 days ago by BSA chairperson ­Peter Ngatane for reasons that will be “disclosed at the right time after investigations”, said Ngatane.

Board member Solly Selebi countered Jackson’s vitriol, saying: “Logic should always supersede sentiment, and a forensic audit could reveal worms. Peter Ngatane was not mad when he took the decision because something does look amiss.

“It would be grossly unwise to disclose the suspension reasons, which will come at the right time, determining either exoneration or dismissal.”

Boxing promoter Siphatho Handi said Mtya’s suspension showed that local boxing was “in chaos, disorganised and desperately in need of divine intervention”.

Boxing trainer Lehlohonolo “Hands of Stone” Ledwaba said the fight fraternity was disappointed that only the board was privy to the suspension.

Three-time world champion Dingaan “The Rose” Thobela said it was a tragedy that “we read more in newspapers about administrators than boxers”.

He said: “Not knowing the reasons for suspension has caused confusion, unhappiness and fears that will only be ­allayed by a disclosure.”

Fight mentor Harold “The Hammer” Volbrecht said he had known Mtya since the days when Mtya was a fighter and had found him to be good for boxing. “I don’t like becoming enmeshed in boxing politics because if I had to make a living out of politics I would be the poorest person in the country,” said Volbrecht.

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