Sports

Boxing suffers another low blow

Chris Theko

The Lesotho Boxing Association (LeBA) has suffered yet another blow after the former national team coach Chaka Mekoa was shot dead at his Ha-Tšosane home last week Tuesday evening. 

This is the second death of an official to befall the boxing association and fraternity after the death of former boxing referees’ judge and former LDF boxer Thabang Makhakhe last month after a short illness. 

According to the LeBA Public Relations Officer Rethabile Ntiea the deceased was shot while in his car soon after arriving home from gym. 

“The family told us that he was sitting in his car as he had just arrived from gym when he was shot,” Ntiea said. 

The family was together inside the house watching the news as they had gunshots and when they checked outside realised it was Mekoa who had just been shot,” he added.

Ntiea said Mekoa’s death is a huge loss to the boxing fraternity as he was one of Lesotho’s best coaches who produced top rated boxers and coaches.

“As a boxer, he was at the Tšosane Boxing club but did not have much success yet. When he took up coaching he was very successful in coaching and developing the best as he produced the likes of Sibusiso Keketsi, who is currently the highest qualified coach in Lesotho” Ntsie said.

Ntsie who is also a product of Mekoa said he is also proud to be where he is today in the executive of the association citing Moekoa’s positive contribution and guidance. 

The deceased represented Lesotho as national coach at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia where former LeBA president Moses Kopo won a silver medal.

He is described by Sibusiso Keketsi as having been an extremely relentless and consistent coach who was committed to the development of boxers in the country. 

“When I first joined boxing, I was part of his Tšosane Boxing Club, he had just retired from competitive boxing and had just launched his coaching career. He was very patient with me, just like most of his boxers who would always make it to the highest level of boxing. His relentlesss and consistent character would see his boxers making it into the national teams until today,” Keketsi said. 

Mekoa also produced boxing greats such as Sephula Letuka who was the first Mosotho boxer to win a commonwealth Games medal when he brought home bronze medal from Manchester, England in 2002. 

Keketsi who started working with Mekoa in the early 90s said he was more than just a coach and mentor to him but was also his neighbour. 

“Because he was also my neighbour we grew close and he was more of a brother, that situation made it easy for him to guide me in my career as a boxer and eventually inspired me to take up coaching.

“Since he was producing the best boxers, some of the clubs would steal boxers from his club, I also left Tšosane Boxing club for Best Boxers soon after I qualified for the Olympics,” Keketsi said. 

Keketsi said Mekoa loved the sport a lot, despite having commitments elsewhere he would always make time for boxing. 

“His team was one of the most struggling clubs although a community club and one that continually provided the national team with boxers for competitions but that did not break his spirit and love for boxing,” he added. 

Mekoa is survived by a wife and two children, a boy and a girl.  According to Ntsie the family is yet to decide on the day of the funeral.  

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