News24.com | Former sports minister Balfour praises the late Dumile Mateza: He brought stability to boxing

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News24.com | Former sports minister Balfour praises the late Dumile Mateza: He brought stability to boxing

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Dumile Mateza. (Gallo Images) Former sports minister Ngconde Balfour remembered the late Dumile Mateza as a commentator and boxing administrator of ex

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Dumile Mateza. (Gallo Images)

Dumile Mateza. (Gallo Images)

  • Former sports minister Ngconde Balfour remembered the late Dumile Mateza as a commentator and boxing administrator of excellence.
  • Mateza died on Tuesday at the age of 62.
  • Mateza was Boxing South Africa’s chief executive officer when Balfour was sports minister.

Former minister of Sports, Arts and Recreation Ngconde Balfour paid tribute to the late SABC Sports commentator Dumile Mateza.

Affectionately known as “Phesheya Phaya”, a catch-phrase that was synonymous with his isiXhosa commentary in soccer, Mateza died on Tuesday at the age of 62 due to cancer.

Balfour, who served as sports minister between 1999 and 2004 under former president Thabo Mbeki’s first term, said Mateza’s knowledge of sport, especially boxing, came in handy at a time when boxing was going through rough waters.

Mateza, who also enjoyed boxing commentary, also served as Boxing South Africa’s chief executive officer.

“His knowledge of the sport of boxing was put to great use when he was appointed CEO of Boxing SA by me at a time when boxing was going through extremely difficult times,” Balfour said.

“He brought stability to the sport as he commanded the respect of the various boxing role players.

“Mateza had very strong views on SA sport and was not afraid to tackle those who resisted the transformation of sport in our country.”

More than anything else, Mateza was remembered as a commentator who had deep knowledge of players.

While his terms gained more popularity in football and rugby, boxing was the sport he enjoyed the most, from where Balfour said Mateza had a skill of captivating audiences with his commentary.

“His command of the English and Nguni languages was second to none and he excelled particularly in the commentary of boxing,” Balfour said.

“Mateza made an ordinary boxing clash come alive with his voice ringing out across the boxing arena, captivating audiences.”

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