SA boxing legend broke, sick

2010-10-29 12:05

Cape Town - South African boxing legend Jacob "Baby Jake" Matlala is sick and cannot foot his own medical bills, according to a report in the Sowetan.

Pastor Allan McCauley of the Rhema Church confirmed that the four-time world champion had hit rock-bottom financially and that his church was trying to raise funds for him.

McCauley said the 48-year-old former WBO and IBA junior flyweight, WBO and WBU flyweight title holder had been suffering from double pneumonia and was discharged from Lesedi Clinic in Soweto, on October 13.

He said the pint-sized pugilist, who hung up his gloves in March 2 2002 with 53 wins (26 KOs), 13 losses and two draws, spent three weeks at the clinic.

McCauley said yesterday: "Baby Jake has been a member of our congregation here at Rhema for a number of years and has always helped us to help others through Hands of Compassion, our ministry to the poor.

"He has also been a personal friend of both myself and Pastor Ray McCauley.

"Due to his recent illness, he has incurred substantial medical bills, and unfortunately he has no medical aid.


  • Tana - 2010-10-29 12:17

    He probably bought himself BMWs and stuff when he still had the money. I hope it's a lesson for future sportsmen. Investing is the way to go.

  • Joe Soap - 2010-10-29 12:17

    There are provincial hospital for Jake to obtain medical treatment which is affordable, not just private hospitals.

  • Thabo - 2010-10-29 12:18

    We see it all the time, very wealthy sports people [ earn more than most ] not knowing how to look after money.

  • John - 2010-10-29 12:21

    Ask Ray McCauley to foot the bill. He surely made enough money out of the church.

  • dr zeek - 2010-10-29 12:21

    Please could Rhema tell us how much money they took from Baby Jake over the years he was a member?

  • Bra Jordon - 2010-10-29 12:33

    Baby Jakes has made us so proud in the past. I wish him well if he survives the illness. Much can be said about the advantage that he had during his career as a 'little person' as they are now referred too. When he began fighting, midgets were bound to the confines of the circus, but Baby Jakes has changed that. I regret that I never saw the bout between him and the guy that played willow in the film of the same name, which did for the umpas what boxing did for jakes. WE LOVE YOU BABY JAKES!

  • Danie - 2010-10-29 12:39

    Pastor Allan McCauley is living like a king with all the money that was given by his congregation and Baby Jake, and now people must donate money. Come on McCauley sell a Merc and help the man or does your bible read only for your own pocket.

  • DJ Beema - 2010-10-29 12:41

    What's happening with our sports people??

  • Ollie - 2010-10-29 12:43

    Please Rhema - you have more money than you know what to do with. Support him yourself after all I am sure he donated a lot of money to your church

  • Liki - 2010-10-29 12:47

    Well, I'm very sorry to hear about his illness, he was a great champion. What I don't understand is why the church has even let things get to this stage or is asking for donations - they have been scamming him and others out for money for many years, so now it is their turn to give some back. Put your money where your mouth is and then tell us how you CARED for one of those you duped, instead of telling us how bad things are going with him. And if the poor chap has other problems (e.g. Aids) then he will experience the so-called "power of prayer" fiction that you have been indoctrinating him and others with. Trust in in god but pay your medical aid, right?

  • craig - 2010-10-29 12:51

    AG SHAME... After all the money he made were is it???? He should of thought of this when he was living the life of luxury !!!! If I am broke who will come to my help ??? Tell him to get a life and he cannot live on his reputation. Yes... he was a good boxer, but that does not mean that he must be supported by us... each to their own..

  • WTF - 2010-10-29 12:53

    Ray, you drive luxury cars and live a comfortable life. YOU pay his medical bills. Don't guilt-trip us with your religious rubbish. Besides. Double pneumonia in a formerly healthy sportsman at the age of 48? Guess what I'm thinking. Perhaps you should ask Thabo Mbeki to pay his bills?

  • Robert - 2010-10-29 12:58

    Get Get well Baby Jake...

  • lucy - 2010-10-29 13:04

    All the bitterness in these comments - I'm glad someone told us before we had to read his obituary, and being down on your luck can happen to anyone.

  • millicent - 2010-10-29 13:08

    the greatest gift a church could ever give back is to help the needy, I can never expect my pastor to raise donation when i'm i need of help. if it was raised in church is acceptable but not publicly especially to someone who gave when they had.. the bible says the greatest way to receive is to give: PASTOR PLS GIVE -

  • clinton - 2010-10-29 13:08

    article says they raising money for his medical bills because he has no medical, that doesnt mean he is broke ??

  • Lils - 2010-10-29 13:12

    Teach sportsmen not only how to play the game but also financial management. How many times do we hear about "heroes" who are penniless?

  • IandI - 2010-10-29 13:12

    Shame. He was a great champion.At a point I remember him studying for a BCom degree. Not sure if he graduated. There must be some company that can hire him. How about commentator on boxing for some TV station, just not SABC..they have no money themselves.

  • Lils - 2010-10-29 13:12

    Teach sportsmen not only how to play the game but also financial management. How many times do we hear about "heroes" who are penniless?

  • Andrew - 2010-10-29 13:13

    I wonder how much of this so called fund raising for Jakes‘ medical bills will go into the pocket of the Rhema church. Give give give. How else must Ray McCauley support his millionaire's lifestyle? It won’t fall out of the sky or come from heaven.

  • disman - 2010-10-29 13:14

    guys must stop being judgemental since life is unpredictable, it beats plans of those that think they are invincible. lets help if we can, if we cant lets not chastise.

  • Debbie - 2010-10-29 13:18

    Rhema Heads make me sick when they talk about money cause they have no idea what it means to have no money but they will still brainwash their followers into giving them millions. Why doesn't Rheme offer to settle Baby Jakes's Medical exspences if he has been a loyal member of the Rhema Cult for so many years and lined the pockets of the Heads so nicely. Please show us just how good the Rheme church and it's heads really are. Put your money where your mouth is.

  • DAVID LEBETHE - 2010-10-29 13:18

    Whatever the circumstances my brother you will always be our hero. Black people will remember you for your humility even when you were up there. Unlike many of our athletes money has never changed you as you will always remain our champ even during hardtime. Take heart my bra.

  • Brian - 2010-10-29 13:18

    This is what happens when you support a :happy clapper: sect. McCauly is more interested in his next Porsche or mistress. Sick!!!! I hope he drowns in his own f****s.

  • Danny - 2010-10-29 13:19

    So all the stories about his private came true life caught up with him!! Phneumonia my a**!!

  • Frances - 2010-10-29 13:26

    I feel sorry for him but the majority of people in South Africa do not belong to medical aids and have to pay their bills out of their own pockets whether they can afford them or not. Otherwise, they have to go to state facilities for treatment. If the church people want to help, it's their business but why is it being "broadcast" to the nation.

  • Phillie - 2010-10-29 13:28

    It is obvious that judging from the above remarks that there is a lot of bitterness and resentment towards the church. Thousands of rands are given to charitable organisations where help is needed. Instead of pointing fingers at the church rather examine yourself, soften your heart and help someone like Baby Jake who never disgraced himself as a boxer and a man.

  • kevin - 2010-10-29 13:30


  • Olly - 2010-10-29 13:37

    It is so sad to hear about our CHAMPION being broke by our dearest pastor. Did he ever before told the nation how rich Baby Jake was during his hay days? God for give the pastor because he know not what he is saying. For you, our CHAMPION, please know that our prayers are with you.

  • @all - 2010-10-29 13:37

    And no doubt, all this is going to improve matters!

  • Sue - 2010-10-29 13:37

    What a disgraceful bunch of hypocrites you are, Rhema. You say how much Baby Jakes helped you... (and we're all wondering how much of that "help" was the money you took off him) - but, gee, now he needs a little help, your coffers are closed. Now you are trying to raise funds for him? Give him a little of your own funds.. oh no, sorry, silly me - you just take and do not give.

  • Zizo - 2010-10-29 13:40

    This is a PR exercise from Rhema. They are opportunists, they will jump into anything to have their name publicised. They are not helping but exploiting the man. Baby Jake must stand up for himself. What message are we sending to the public, spend recklessly we have your back?

  • Zizo - 2010-10-29 13:40

    This is a PR exercise from Rhema. They are opportunists, they will jump into anything to have their name publicised. They are not helping but exploiting the man. Baby Jake must stand up for himself. What message are we sending to the public, spend recklessly we have your back?

  • Medical aid? - 2010-10-29 13:42

    Comes to show you what happens when one refuse to listen to good and sound financial advise, and then he has to answer himself as to why he didn't took medical aid cover with one of numerous institutions? or would he have been one who waited for the few to foot bill for millions of people with the same mentallity

  • fibo - 2010-10-29 13:47

    another one of those stories from the so called S A celebrities,dont they have financial advisors

  • Zozo - 2010-10-29 13:48

    U know sometimes is bad what other people they have about life for others again, whether or not whatever happened before is not what this guy he needed now. If we dont have something to give/ say let us learn to have good things in our minds, this is life no one knows what is going to happen to her/him in future. We can be 100% prepared but if that is finish let those who can give help let them do without a complaining heart. I wish all SA can learned not to put blamz on others and face what we are going through now, say this and that wont help him/ us. I wish all the best in your recovering Matlala.

  • AL - 2010-10-29 13:54

    Apparently you need to pay 10% of your monthly earnings to become a member of rhema church. God definately does work in mysterious ways!?!

  • Tsotsi - 2010-10-29 13:58

    "double pneumonia " - And we all know the front runner of that.....

  • Philamon - 2010-10-29 13:59

    Rhema & Ray Mcauly is just in it for the money... And if Baby Jake looked better after his money and invested some instead of being mister showoff fancy cars bling bling, he would have been able to look after himself. Now he's a burden on someone else.

  • Ginas - 2010-10-29 14:01

    Well lets see if the majority people of this country stand up and show their true worth. Julius gave R60,000.00 to Caster for a gold medal win, will he put his hand in his pocket for Baby Jakes. Mr McCauley just repay the bout and help Baby Jakes your church has the money to do so.

  • Riaan - 2010-10-29 14:03

    As a white Afrikaner Boerseun, Baby Jake was one of the first black sport hero's to climb straight into my heart. I pray that he'll get better and also that our country can have more like him.

  • michael - 2010-10-29 14:07

    Jake had a few bad business decisions. If he is sick then send him to government hospitals. But Jake has to remember that lived life large for some time, now the money is gone. Now he will only have the memories of his past few years. Good financial planning is needed for sportmen.

  • CORREEN - 2010-10-29 14:09

    I think that Rhema are doing a great thing by taking up a donation for Baby Jake and I trust that they get more than enough to pay his medical bills. Why are most of you on this forum so anti-Rhema? Why do you not want Pastors to drive decent cars? Maybe if you understood the work that these Pastors do then you would not begrudge them a decent vehicle to drive. Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord.

  • Shaz77 - 2010-10-29 14:12

    Yes why doesn't he go to a government hospital, like the rest of us?

  • DeonL - 2010-10-29 14:12

    So many people think that to save money is a sin, it is not! Save 10% of all income from early then you can retire on age 55. Baby Jake I hope you have learned a lession. Some people can not wait for the NHI, want things for free already!

  • Mhingasi - 2010-10-29 14:12

    I am tired and sick of hearing of our sportman suffering, this guys forget to save when they are in their prime time, some of them even refused to shack hands with their supporters and now they are the beggers, they must suffer just like any one else, i wonder how came jake is brioke cause the guy still works for SABC, did he not pay for a medical aid, hhhhhhhhmmmm wondering

  • patrigo - 2010-10-29 14:16

    why cant he use public health sector if he can not afford private health sector? i think that is what the church must advice him rather than to come up with fund raising stories.

  • Gary - 2010-10-29 14:18

    Does double pneumonia mean aids?

  • Erika M - 2010-10-29 14:18

    So may people are hit by misfortune when joining Rhema Church. Why don't they foot the bill, they are rich.

  • Ingy - 2010-10-29 14:23

    Well what happened to all his winnings that he earned? Spent on non important luxury things like cars, woman etc. Surely with his type of sport etc he should have had a medical aid. Pneumonia...hmmm makes one think!!!! Why can Pastor Ray not foot the bill seeing baby Jake helped the poor etc within the church. Besides all this hope he does get better. Robbing the poor to feed Peter. McCauley is one person I dont trust a BIG TAKER and shoud practice what he preaches. Divorced how many times. Living in absolute opulence and where in the world does he get that money..from the congregation and tithes. Come on who he is fooling!!!