Legendary fighter remembered
ANC members will miss a comrade
Mackson Mahlawule of Shihosana village who has revived bareknuckle fights at Muribani near Giyani in the Collins Chabane municipality has received with shock the news of the demise of Tshilidzi Poison Ndevane the president of musangwe (swibakela) in Vhembe.
Born Tshilidzi Merson Ndevane, he was a legendary figure throughout the country and his name was synonymous with the sport from ancient times that is much maligned.
Boxing itself has a lot of detractors.
Some say it is sadism that is legalized murder.
With traditional boxing itself many have called that it be abolished because using bare hands exposed fighters to contracting diseases such as HIV/Aids.
But Ndevane who promoted many such fights in Tshifudi would have none of it.
“In Spain they have dangerous games of fighting bulls. In KwaZulu Natal they fight with sticks but people do not call for the abolishing of such fights,” he said.
To him bareknuckle boxing was the sport of his ancestors and was supported by traditional leaders.
People came from far and near to watch the games.
Bareknuckle fights or malaita fights provided something of a poor man’s fiesta in sports starved rural areas.
Now Ndevane has passed on. He was buried today in keeping with Disaster Management rules and regulations.
Mahlawule recently led a group of people from Collins Chabane to visit Ndevane at his home.
“I am sad to receive the news of his death. He was to be honoured by a local museum for the promotion of sport. The event was to be held at Muribani,” he said.
The ANC in Vhembe has released a message of condolence.
ANC provincial secretary advocate Anderson Mudunungu has described the late as an all-rounder who touched many people in many roles he played.
“In politics he started as a chairperson of the youth league in Tshauli and graduated to the mother body. He served in many roles in the ANC, Cosatu and the SACP,”he said.
Born at Tshidzini on March 15 1960, he started his primary schooling in the area.
He did his matric at Tshisauli and after completion he went to Venda College of Education that was popularly known just as Veco where he attained a teaching diploma.
Between 1990 and 1994 he taught at Ndariyeni.
He later moved to Tondalushaka where he worked until his departure to the afterlife.
He was at one point the chairperson of the traditional council at Tshauli.
He also served as a board member of Donald Fraser Hospital as well as that of a local clinic. He was also a reputed marathon runner.
A sports convener for the South African Democratic Teachers Union, and was also the chairperson of sports at Vhumbedzi Circuit.
He was also an organiser of malende and tshikona traditional dances.