In announcing the seven members of the newly constituted board that will seek to take boxing back to the glory days of regular broadcasts and multiple South African world champions Minister of Sport and Recreation Fikile Mbalula highlighted the current impasse between promoter Branco Milenkovic and the national broadcaster.
It was hoped that broadcasts would resume before the end of this month, as mentioned at an internal meeting between promoters and the SABC a few weeks ago but now it appears that the effort is hamstrung and Mbalula appears to be taking a hard line.
“We did engage with the public broadcaster and made a public announcement that boxing would be back on air but immediately afterwards there was a reneging on the deal and we were met with conditions. Conditions were put on the table that were contradictory to what was agreed,” Mbalula said yesterday.
“We want boxing back on television like yesterday. The reality of the matter is we are stuck now. We are with Branco in court and we are fighting,” he added, laying the blame squarely at the feet of the promoter.
“The fact is that we can’t be fighting. We need a resolution and the new board needs to ensure that this is resolved. They need to address this issue and they must do so knowing that they have the full support from the side of government,” added Mbalula.
The new board will begin their term of office on June 1 and operate until May 2017 and a full list of seven candidates have been selected to help iron out the various issues that have besieged the regulatory body.
Ntambi Ravele has kept her seat as chairperson after navigating an interim board through troubled waters in the last few months along with Dr Peter Ngatane who also keeps his position. The rest of the board is made up of Advocate Mzamo Gumbi, Zandile Kabini, Khulile Radu, Mandisinde Gcilitshana and Luthando Jack.
“We definitely want to bring the sport of boxing back in South Africa. I think by now we know the issues that need to be addressed. For now it’s about implementation and we cannot miss this opportunity,” Ravele said.