Trainer Bruno Perreira and boxer Sabelo Ngebinyana have been stuck in Namibia for two weeks because that country’s boxing promoter Nestor Tobias has not paid them.
The duo left SA in high hopes but have been left with nothing but regret. Tobias organised a tournament in Windhoek two weekends ago. Fighters from South Africa, Ghana, Zimbabwe and Nigeria took part.
Ngebinyana lost in his attempt to win the WBO global junior-featherweight belt from champion Fillipus Nghitumbwa on October 29.
Perreira said the agreement was that Tobias would pay Ngebinyana on Sunday October 30. But they are still in Namibia because Tobias has not paid them.
The 29-year-old trainer said Ghanaians, Zimbabweans and Nigerians were also stuck in that country against their will.
“We were supposed to fly back home on October 30,” said Perreira in a trembling voice yesterday.
“Nestor wanted to send us home without Sabelo’s money, saying he will deposit it in the accounts, but Sabelo said we are going nowhere until we are paid.
“We are staying at the Windhoek Country Club; we eat and sleep, he is footing the bill. I spoke to the chairperson of the Namibian Professional Boxing and Wrestling Control Board and she advised us to take the matter up with the WBO, which sanctioned the fight. I told her that we fought under the auspices of her board and she promised to write a letter to Nestor.”
He said at first Tobias said he was waiting for the bank to clear his money.
“He said he will pay us over the weekend and that did not happen. He said the bank manager is sick. He came to see us again and told us that he had problems with foreign exchange. The following day he came back and said he was waiting for the money to be cleared by the bank. Today (Tuesday) he said another back manager is sick.”
Ngebinyana said: “I am sick and tired of being here, I want my money.”
Tobias’ bosom friend Dingaan Thobela – who acts as fight coordinator between Tobias and local fighters – said: “I spoke to Nestor about this and he has apologised for what has happened and he promised to sort it out before the end of the week.”
Boxing SA’s chief operating officer Mandla Ntlanganiso said he was aware of the issue: “Nestor promised to sort this thing out when he called me.”