New Boxing SA board calls suspended manager back from the cold

13 December 2023 - 09:04
By David Isaacson
Mandla Ntlanganiso is reported to be back in the saddle at Boxing South Africa.
Image: Veli Nhlapo Mandla Ntlanganiso is reported to be back in the saddle at Boxing South Africa.

Boxing South Africa’s (BSA) new board is moving into action swiftly, lifting the months-long suspension of director of operations Mandla Ntlanganiso.

Board chair Sifiso Shongwe confirmed the return of Ntlanganiso after sources told TimesLIVE of the move earlier in the day.

Ntlanganiso said on Wednesday morning he had been summoned to the BSA offices in Pretoria to meet Shongwe. 

TimesLIVE was also told Ntlanganiso would assume the role of acting CEO, a position previously held by Erick Sithole, whose tenure ended with the old board’s on Monday.

Ntlanganiso was suspended by the board in August, but between then and now he never had a hearing.

The reason for his suspension was never made public, but it came soon after a scoring debacle in a women’s national bantamweight title fight in East London.

The fight supervisor, Phakamile Jacobs, who is also BSA’s provincial manager in the Eastern Cape, incorrectly tallied one of the three scorecards, giving the fight to challenger Melissa Miller instead of it being a draw.

His error was pointed out within minutes of the incorrect result being announced and Jacobs apparently went to confer with Ntlanganiso, and effectively left him with the can of worms, though boxing rules dictate the supervisor is the sole arbiter for all issues around the fight they’re overseeing.

The result of the fight was reversed a few days later, with Miller discovering she was no longer a champion and Sharadene Fortuin being recrowned.

Whatever went wrong in that debacle, it wasn’t Ntlanganiso’s fault, though some observers believed he should have acted faster to correct the error.

Even so, his reinstatement would send a strong signal that the new board wants to clean up after a controversial three-year reign by the outgoing executive, which was frequently accused of contravening the Boxing Act and the regulations that govern the professional sport.