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Friday night boxing returned to SABC this past weekend after a five-year hiatus. There is still however some legal red tape around its reintroduction. Boxing analyst and local ring announcer Devon Currer explains.
Advocate Sicelo Mthethwa has strongly recommended that Boxing SA (BSA) fire its suspended CEO Moffat Qithi with immediate effect.
Mthethwa presided over Qithi’s disciplinary hearing that ended at the BSA offices in Pretoria on July 8.
The beleaguered Qithi was suspended by the BSA in 2013 for failing to disclose his criminal record when he applied for the R1 million-a-year job in 2011.
He has already been paid more than R200 000 in bonuses while on suspension for the past two years. Qithi received R101 067.88 for the 2013/14 financial year and R112 811 for the 2014/15 financial year.
Mthethwa, who chaired the proceedings, said he had found Qithi guilty on 11 charges.
The charges are clearly laid out in an explosive 127-page document, which was leaked to City Press this week.
The first charge is gross dishonesty in that Qithi failed to disclose his criminal record before he landed the plum job of CEO of the boxing governing body.
The charge sheet also found him guilty of bringing BSA’s name into disrepute in that he failed to disclose he had a criminal record for drunken driving.
Another charge, on which Mthethwa found Qithi guilty, was that of fraud in that Qithi made unauthorised personal use of a BSA credit card – the misuse is estimated at R20 930.
Mthethwa said Qithi used the employer’s credit card fraudulently to sustain his lifestyle while in the employ of the BSA.
Mthethwa added that Qithi’s employer – the BSA – fell under the auspices of the department of sport, arts, culture and recreation.
According to Mthethwa’s statement, hundreds of thousands of rands of taxpayers’ money was used to settle a defamation suit, which was brought against the BSA by boxing promoter Branco Milenkovic.
In 2013, the South Gauteng High Court heard that Qithi’s appointment by the BSA was “irrational and unconstitutional”. This was during the Milenkovic court case.
Under the financial misconduct charge, which is a contravention of the Public Finance Management Act, Qithi was accused of causing the boxing association to lose R500 000 as a result of the “wrongful and defamatory statement made by yourself against Branco Milenkovic” on or about July 2012.
In his report on the findings of the disciplinary hearing, Mthethwa pointed out that:
. Qithi’s conduct had caused great harm to the BSA;
. He became a law unto himself and acted contrary to the instructions of the BSA board;
. It is “my considered view that the prospects for the rehabilitation of Mr Qithi are negligible”; and
. It is apparent that the employment relationship between Qithi and the BSA had broken down irretrievably.
According to Mthethwa’s verdict on the matter: “For the various reasons fully set out above, it is recommended that the services of the employee, Mr Qithi, with Boxing SA ought to be terminated with immediate effect.”
BSA board chairperson Ntambi Ravele said its members would deliberate on Mthethwa’s recommendations this week.
“The BSA is in possession of the report. We’ll study it and decide on the way forward,” she said.
Ravele said they hoped to soon finalise the matter of hiring a new CEO.
Qithi could not be reached for comment as his cellphone was “no longer in operation”.
When contacted for comment, Qithi’s lawyer, who Mthethwa said was named as S Nkonyeni in the hearing’s papers, said: “I am not mandated to talk to the media about my client.”
Nkonyeni also refused to provide City Press with Qithi’s new contact details.
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