Cape boxing champ dies in hail of bullets
A champion boxer has been shot dead in the prime of his career.
Malibongwe “Showtime” Thoba had lightning-quick hands and a killer instinct in the ring that made him a formidable opponent.
But the promising 23-year-old did not stand a chance against his cowardly killers when he was gunned down on Saturday night at a popular night spot.
Malibongwe was the reigning Western Cape featherweight division champion at the time of his death.
His grieving mother says if he had stayed in the gym and maintained his training instead of hanging out with the wrong crowd, her darling son may still be alive today.
Instead, Malibongwe met his death on the balcony of the Korido Pub in Stellenbosch.
He and a friend died in a hail of bullets when an unknown number of gunmen opened fire on unsuspecting revellers.
The two died on the scene with multiple bullets wounds to the head and chest.
A third man survived with a bullet wound to the arm.
Police are now investigating a double murder but have not made any arrests as yet.
Malibongwe’s mother Nokuphumla Ngandana, 39, tells the Daily Voice her son was too often led astray by his friends.
“Friends were all over him and he listened to them. The last time I spoke to him he was hanging out with friends.
“He told me he was coming home late and would knock at my bedroom window to open up for him.”
But the knock never came.
Instead, a neighbour came to tell her of her son’s death.
“I felt very sad and angry because I had told him to quit this company he keeps,” says the mom.
“His manager had tried to take him away from his friends but he would not listen.”
Trainer Charles Mjikelo of Amandla Boxing Promotion says Malibongwe was a promising boxer who had a bright future in the ring.
“He had talent but unfortunately it was taken away so soon,” says Charles.
“I had been with him from amateur to professional boxing.”
Malibongwe had a record of 14 fights with only two losses under his belt and was ranked at number eight in the national ratings.
Charles says Malibongwe bunked training many times and he would go out searching for him.
“One day we found him in a shack in Khayelitsha after bunking training for some time,” say Charles.
“I wish young people can learn something out of this.
“Stick to your career and avoid friends that are leading you astray.
“Sport needs sacrifice and discipline and I urge youngsters to believe in themselves and think carefully when making decisions.”
* This article was published in the Daily Voice