The Eastern Cape was once the Mecca of boxing in South Africa but last year, only seven tournaments were held there and 80% of them were development tournaments.
But, instead of promoters addressing pressing issues such as SABC television dates and government grants, they are exchanging verbal blows that do not bring about any change.
Their differences have escalated to the point where there could be two associations operating parallel to each other, and that is against the SA Boxing Act of 2001.
The Eastern Cape Promoters Association (ECPA) was elected in 2015 and is chaired by Ayanda Matiti.
Bongani Zulu and Andile Bakubaku say that their term had already ended, with no election of new office bearers, and about 20 disgruntled promoters want them out of office.
Zulu said the promoters had suggested a meeting but members of the “old” association failed to heed the call to meet in Port Elizabeth on April 27.
“We met and elected the interim committee which will facilitate the annual general meeting that will take place on [Saturday] May 19 and [Sunday] 20,” said Zulu.
The convenor is Mlungisi Siyo, Zulu the co-ordinator and Sbongile Kebe is his assistant.
“There is a preferred line-up to take over the office. We want Tando Zonke as chairperson, Bakubaku as Zonke’s deputy, Zulu (secretary), Siyo (deputy secretary), Kebe (treasurer).
“There will also be sub-committees put in place and Chris Pondo will head the disciplinary committee and Mbulelo Mfama will be our public relation officer. We’ve got female promoters who will also be given other slots.”
But Phathekile Sinyabi – who is secretary of the Matiti-chaired group – has invited all promoters to a general meeting at the offices of the National Youth Development Agency in East London today.
“That meeting precedes the AGM which will take place in June,” Sinyabi said.
“We are fighting for unity. The ECPA was elected in 2015 June for a two-year term as per the amended constitution which was done in that very conference.
“Now there are people who are jumping the gun because they are position mongers.”
Boxing SA CEO Tsholofelo Lejaka said: “Our response is that ‘yes, we have received correspondence from a group of promoters and BSA has issued feedback on that’.”