Malinga stripped of Zulu garb

2012-05-31 09:00

Johannesburg - South African boxer Vusi Malinga is an angry man after American customs officials stripped him of his traditional Zulu hat, fighting gown and bracelet, which is known as isiphandla, according to a report in the Sowetan.

Isiphandla is a bracelet made out of goat skin and is deemed to have protective qualities.

The gown, hat and isiphandla were all confiscated soon after Malinga and his entourage landed at the airport in Los Angeles ahead of Saturday's fight against Mexican Leo Santa Cruz.

This is the biggest fight for the Ekurhuleni-based Malinga, who is hoping to win his first world title in the fight for the vacant IBF bantamweight belt against Cruz, who is unbeaten in 19 fights.

Malinga, who is of Zulu royal blood, is accompanied by his trainer and father Jabu and two brothers - Patrick, a former South African lightweight champion and Peter, a former IBO and WBU welterweight champion.

The promising fighter was detained for four hours at the Los Angeles customs office when officials instructed him to leave his Zulu traditional regalia behind or return to Johannesburg.


  • ztoefy - 2012-05-31 09:12

    What you become a target just because you don't follow western culture!!!! good grief do they think he is gonna hijack a plain with a hat and goat skin bracelet. Americans are idiots!

      Boereroo - 2012-05-31 09:23

      As the saying goes, when in Rome...(or this case USA). Don't like it, don't go there. Each country have their own rules and regulations about what you can bring into their country. If they allow one guy with animal skins next thing you know half of the underworld is trying to smuggle it through there. Those skins could be full of lice or bugs, who knows. Nothing about western culture but about quarentine regulations

      Rob - 2012-05-31 09:46

      Just shut up & box or go home.

      Phae - 2012-05-31 09:57

      Yeah sure this is all its about, targeting your culture, IDIOT! Have a look at the laws governing exportation of animal products. Life is a bit more complicated than you and your narrow minded perceptions. Expand your knowledge, life won't be such a long fight against imaginary injustices.

      Provence - 2012-05-31 10:59

      @ztoefy, no, not all Americans are idiots. It just looks that way when we don't understand things. A good place to start understanding something would be to read up about it or ask questions so that you may get some answers and then make a good decision.

  • Jacques - 2012-05-31 09:14

    I won't lie, usually I'm all for SA athletes, but considering what a bunch of leeches the royal family is on the treasury, this is some funny stuff! He should REALLY go all out and throw a coke bottle on a Khoisan's head while wearing that while he's up there!

  • Provence - 2012-05-31 09:30

    Dear friends, before you get all bent out of shape and start shouting, throwing stones and marching for your rights, please ask why was his traditional clothing confiscated? It's very simple. When you enter the borders of any country in, Africa, Europe, Asia, or Americas, you need to OBEY the RULES of that country. These are the rules of the USA for every Person entering it's borders. So, that means rules apply to the President of the USA as well as to any other person who wants to enter it's borders. It's actually pretty easy and simple to understand if you are a law abiding person. Let me explain, I bought an Africa drum obviously it was covered with cow skin. when I took this back to Europe with me they confiscated it. I asked why? They pointed me to the customs rules which stated, no skins, plants, seeds and few other things allowed. So, I willingly handed over because those were the rules for that country no matter how much I cherished my drum and what I paid for it and who it was for!! Life is very easy with rules, the biggest problem is that many have never been taught to OBEY. Have a lovely day

      Ted - 2012-05-31 09:57

      Good point. But when a person enters Zim posing as an aid worker but is actually a journalist and is arrested, there is so much smoke about it.

      elspeth.hassall - 2012-05-31 11:00

      The same applies in South Africa...when i returned for UK I was asked if I had any animal products, seeds, plants and other things (I cannot remember them all), as these things were not allowed to enter the country!

  • ndebeleisrael - 2012-05-31 10:00

    Other ppl's culture is undermined in Europe..... nheeee

      Provence - 2012-05-31 10:08

      No sweet Ndebeleisrael, other peoples cultures are not undermined in Europe as long as they do not transgress the RULES for that country.

  • Heiku - 2012-05-31 10:13

    He was probably suppose to fill in some kind of form before going

  • Chris - 2012-05-31 10:18

    This must be apartheid's fault

      Shilly Maelane - 2012-05-31 11:34

      LMAO... That comment cracks me up everytime! Enough already!

  • Given Von Baloyi - 2012-05-31 10:19

    What's the all fuss about. Custom rules are generic everywhere even in this country. One two occasions I had to leave my expensive cheese(from Belgium) and Jamaican Jerk at OR Tambo Airport. Anything that may contain bacteria or live micro organisms is not allowed in any country, it introduces diseases ie foot and mouth, mad cow etc

      Phiwo - 2012-05-31 11:25

      Some sense...thank God!!!

  • Christian J Denyschen - 2012-05-31 10:26

    what you troll don't understand is if he were to land on O R Tambo with his hat and stuff customs here would have confiscated it as well.

  • zama.mhlongo.14 - 2012-05-31 17:42

    'Malinga, who is of Zulu royal blood'\r\nHAAA! Is that true? I really doubt it and he is from Ekurhuleni of all the places. I think the journalist wanted to say that Malinga belongs to the Zulu ethnic group. Anyways, English or any cultural group never lies that's why they say: when you are in Rome do like Romans do. In isiZulu kuthiwa: ithi ingahamba idle udaka.

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