On behalf of my Department of Sport, Arts and Culture South Africa (DSAC), I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere heartfelt condolences to the Ledwaba family, Boxing Fraternity, and Lehlogonolo friends at large.
My Department has learnt with sadness and shock the untimely passing of the Legendary Boxing Champion Lehlogonolo “Hands of Stone” Ledwaba.
Lehlogonolo Ledwaba will forever remain one of the greatest boxers to have ever graced our shores. His passing is indeed going to live a deafening silence as it is going to remains with us for as long as we live.
His absence is going to be felt by his boxing peers, boxing business partners and the broader sporting fraternity. His absence will be felt mostly by the likes of Jan Bergman, Dingaan Thobela, Dr. Chris Nteta, Joyce Kungwane of TLB Boxing Promotions, to cite but a few.
To most of us, he will remain one of the boxers who played a positive role and contributed to Nation Building and Social Cohesion. He will remain a boxing Champion who played his part as a unifier whenever he travelled overseas to participate in international competitions.
Lehlogonolo “Hands of Stone” will forever remain a role model, an ambassador and most importantly a selfless professional who dedicated his time to the wellbeing of his nation.
He will be remembered for his versatility, technical brawl and pressure fighting tactics.
He was indeed a selfless individual, even though he retired in the sport, he remained part of the sport in various capacities.
There are few personalities in this sporting code who have retired with such a respectable record of 36 wins, 6 losses and 1 draw. Among his wins, 23 of them were by knockout.
Lehlogonolo Ledwaba holds an amazing professional boxing record which makes him one of the Legends who deserves to be inducted in the Sport heroes Museum, which the Department is working on.
Let us ensure his legacy does not perish alongside him. Let us ensure that his gym at Central Western Jabavu does not die, let’s dig deep and assist the young stars who are using that facility so that the venue doesn’t close its doors and become a white elephant. Let us protect those young stars by ensure that they do not end up flooding the streets.
It is an open secret what lead to his passing, I therefore make an appeal to all of us to be extra careful and take precautionary measures, let us please guard ourselves against this faceless enemy.
COVID – 19 lives amongst us and its around us. Let’s all be extra careful and always adhere to COVID – 19 regulations of physical distancing, washing of hands with soap at all times and most importantly, wearing of masks. Let us ensure wherever we are, there is sufficient ventilation. Let us do our part in fighting this pandemic.
To the family, the pain you are feeling currently is the hurt we share as the nation.
Lehlogonolo will forever be remembered as one of those heroes who selflessly shared their talent with the rest of the nation”.
May Lehlogonolo Ledwaba great and wonderful professional boxing soul, repose in eternal peace.
I thank you !!