Boxing legend Ndou to contest 2024 elections on anti-corruption ticket

‘I’m not trying to be a hero, just playing my part’

04 December 2023 - 07:41
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World boxing champion turned lawyer Lovemore “Black Panther” Ndou addressed a crowd in Australia about his political journey in South Africa.
World boxing champion turned lawyer Lovemore “Black Panther” Ndou addressed a crowd in Australia about his political journey in South Africa.
Image: Supplied

Former world boxing champion turned lawyer Lovemore “Black Panther” Ndou is stepping into the political ring in his country of birth.

Ndou, who has lived in Australia since 1995, said he had a briefing last week in which he told a huge crowd in Sydney, including  New South Wales Premier  Chris Minns, that he will run as an independent candidate in the 2024 general elections in South Africa.

The decision follows an announcement earlier this year by President Cyril Ramaphosa that independent candidates can run in national elections without having to be affiliated to a political party.

“I was already putting together a political party called Babsa  [Building a Better SA] when Ramaphosa made the announcement,” Ndou said.

“The aim was to contest the 2029 elections but when I heard the news, I decided to run in the next elections as an independent candidate.

“The decision to go into politics is a profound one I did not make based on personal ambitions only. It is a decision I made based on the need to bring change in South Africa, the need to build a better country for all, a South Africa that will guarantee a future for our children.

“I know I am going to put my life at risk, and I know I am going to upset a lot of people along the way and be a threat to a lot of them,” said the former IBF junior welterweight and IBO welterweight boxing champion from Musina, Limpopo.

“I know they will do anything to derail my mission, possibly including attempts to assassinate me, but I am prepared to die for my country of birth. I am prepared to die fighting the good fight. I fight for what I believe.

“I believe God put me in this world for a purpose, and with the support of the Almighty and the people of South Africa, nothing can stop me. I am not trying to be a hero but I’m just playing my part as a responsible citizen.”

He said people want change, irrespective of race, gender, political or religious beliefs.

“They are all victims of the same failed government

 “I know people want a guaranteed future for their children. This is what gives me faith and hope that, with the support of the people, I can build a better South Africa.

“Once I secure a seat in the National Assembly, I will be in a position to scrutinise and judge the activities, policies and legislation of government. I will be able to operate as the voice of the voiceless and act as a check on the power of the government of the day.”

He said he will be in a position to decide matters of national interest while also representing the interests of the people in Limpopo.

“I will be able to propose, debate and vote on bills and amendments,” said Ndou.

“I am running for office because I believe the country is in trouble. It is on the brink of collapse due to corruption and self-enrichment by those in power.

“The ruling party, the ANC, has had 30 years to balance things but has failed and will continue to do so. There is no alternative voice to the ANC that is better organised. None of the opposition parties are fit enough to form a viable alternative government.”

Asked why he thought he was the right candidate, the former boxing world champion, Hall of Fame inductee,  lawyer, author and former soldier ( who served as a reservist in the Australian Defence Force , said: “It’s very simple. Unlike the ANC, or any of the opposition parties or independent candidates, I have no ulterior motive other than to serve the people of South Africa and lead the country out of the crisis created by the ANC. I am deeply grounded in the best aspirations of the country and I am not afraid to speak out and call out culprits.

“What further separates me from unfit leaders is that I bring a combination of intellectual rigour, intelligence and a moral compass inextricably intertwined and intermingled. It will be my pleasure, honour and duty to serve South Africa.”

Known worldwide as the brainiest boxer, with degrees including law, communication, politics, human rights law, international law, international relations, governance and policy, Ndou recently refused an offer by Minns to join the governing Labour Party in Australia.

“We have enough qualified men and women in Australia to run politics but we lack qualified leaders in South Africa. I chose to go serve my country of birth,” he said, adding he has played his part in Australia and has given back to the community.

The ANC has nothing to offer but blame. It blames all its failures on apartheid and a white monopoly which is non-existent
Lovemore Ndou

“As a lawyer, I have made it my duty and responsibility to take on at least 20 to 30 cases each year, particularly involving indigenous people, on a pro bono basis,” he said.

“I have served in the Australian army as a reservist. During Covid-19 lockdowns, floods and other disasters I was out there assisting the community. Now it’s time to save South Africa from a failed government.

“The ANC has nothing to offer but blame. It blames all its failures on apartheid and a white monopoly which is non-existent.

“If I have the great privilege to lead the country someday, I will wage a war against corruption. I will make millions available to fight corruption and I will pass a law to ensure all ill-gained assets and proceeds of crime are returned to the state and/or rightful owners. I will pass strong laws to ensure those who engage in corruption do not escape the long arm of the law.

“I will also dispose of BEE and replace it with a policy that will allow broader participation in the economy by all people of South Africa without compromising the economy, irrespective of race, gender, religious or political beliefs. BEE is the trigger for an avalanche of corruption in the new South Africa. It is a failed policy that creates irresponsibility and entitlement, and leads to potential investors deserting the country. It is a policy only benefiting the ANC elite.”

His government, he said, will ensure the rule of law remains sacrosanct.

“I will ensure the separation of powers work,” he said.

“I will make millions available to fight the housing crisis. Under my leadership, there will be no more shack dwellings.

“My administration will strive to ensure everyone is entitled to a free and better education. It will ensure and guarantee better training and a pay raise for school teachers. I will make sure a child who attends a public school has and feels the same hope as the child who attends a private school.

“I will put in place great infrastructures to eradicate the water crisis and will ensure load-shedding is a thing of the past by improving infrastructure while introducing renewables.”

Ndou said there will be no farm killings and his administration will make millions available to improve and strengthen the police and military forces.

“I will not hesitate to use military force to take out criminals who pose a direct threat to our farmers. Our farmers will no longer live in fear within the confines of their farms.

“Under my leadership there will be no land expropriation without compensation. The policy of expropriation without compensation can achieve one thing only: defeating the security of property rights, which is a necessary precondition for prosperity and a thriving economy. It is a policy used by tyrants and dictators to control the economy and hold autocratic control.”

On Saturday Ndou received a Legendary Award, a Best Book Author Award and an Appreciation Medal at the Celebration of African Australians Awards.

“It’s always a pleasure to be recognised for the work I do. I am very grateful ,” said 52-year-old Ndou, who retired as a boxer in 2012 with a record 49 wins and 13 losses.


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