Gallo Images / Daily Dispatch / Masi Losi
- Mzimasi Mnguni produced 10 world champions and many SA champs at his Eyethu Boxing Club in Mdantsane.
- Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane said Mnguni’s legacy and contribution to boxing had left a permanent mark on the boxing world and the lives of scores of boxers he mentored.
- Mabuyane said he would be writing to President Cyril Ramaphosa to request him to honour Mnguni with a provincial official funeral.
Calls are growing for President Cyril Ramaphosa to accord late world-renowned boxing promoter Mzimasi Mnguni a provincial official funeral.
A provincial official funeral is an honour bestowed on distinguished individuals, MECs, speakers, and deputy speakers of provincial legislatures.
Mnguni, born in Alice and based in Mdantsane in the Eastern Cape, died at an East London hospital on Saturday morning following a long illness.
He had been using a wheelchair.
Mnguni is well known for producing some of South Africa’s greatest boxers who made it on the world stage.
Some of the world champions he produced at his Eyethu boxing club include the likes of Vuyani Bungu, Welcome Ncitha, Mbulelo Botile, Hawk Makepula, Lindi Memani, Ali Funeka, Zolani Tete, Zolani Petela, and Zolani Marali.
Bungu defended his title 13 times, while Botile defended his seven times.
Boxing South Africa’s Eastern Cape chairperson Phakamile Jacob said Mnguni deserved to be honored with an official funeral for his contribution to sport and development of youth.
“Bra Mzi deserves the provincial funeral, no one can be against that because he contributed to boxing and [the] community at large. BSA will be happy if president would accord bra Mzi with an official funeral. We will remember bra Mzi for his passion for boxing, someone who loved development of young talent training and turning them into world celebrated boxers. We will remember him for taking local boxing to greater heights.”
Apart from boxing, Jacob said Mnguni was also a philanthropist who gave a lot to the community of Mdantsane.
Mnguni also produced a lot of domestic champions, including his first SA champion Mveleli Luzipho, crowned SA Junior flyweight champion in 1982.
Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane said Mnguni had invested time, energy, and wisdom into developing boxers in the Eastern Cape at his Eyethu Boxing Club in Mdantsane.
Mbulelo Botile, Vuyani Bungu, Mzi Mnguni and Welcome Ncita.
“We will be writing to the president to request approval of the declaration of Mr Mnguni’s funeral service in honour of the contribution he made in the development of sport, in business where he used his money to sponsor the sport for the benefit of many young people from our province and their families,” said Mabuyane.
Broadcast legend Putco Mafani said Mnguni had flown the South African flag across the world, conquering nations through his boxers, and therefore deserved a special provincial funeral, so his coffin could be covered with the same South African flag.
“While his passing is the last round of the main bout of his life, Mr Mnguni’s legacy and contribution in boxing is an ever fixed mark in the boxing world, life of scores of boxers he mentored. We have a moral duty to keep on supporting boxing so that our province can regain its position as the home of boxing champions. This can be accomplished through resourcing boxing development in our province by both government and private sector so that our boxers don’t leave the province for greener pastures in other provinces,” said Mabuyane in a statement.
The provincial official funeral is divided into two categories, category 1 and category 2.
Category 1 is for the speaker of the legislature and members of the executive committee. The provincial funeral category 2 is accorded to the deputy speaker of the legislature. Distinguished persons can be granted a special provincial official funeral category.