THE Lesotho Boxing Association (LeBA) has been dealt yet another blow after former national team coach Chaka Mekoa who was shot dead at his home Ha-Tšosane in Maseru on Tuesday evening.
The Tšosane Boxing Club coach becomes the second boxing official to die this year after former boxing referees’ judge and for LDF boxer, Thabang Makhakhe’s death last month.
Makhakhe died after a short illness.
The LeBA public relations officer Rethabile Ntiea told the Sunday Express on Friday that the deceased was shot while in his car soon after arrival from the gym.
“His family told us that he had just arrived from the gym and was still in his car when he was shot,” Ntiea said.
“The family was watching new on television when they heard gunshots and when they checked outside, they realised that it was Mekoa who had been shot.”
Ntiea said the family is now working on the funeral arrangements and the burial date will be announced soon.
He said Mekoa’s death was a huge loss to the boxing fraternity as he was one of Lesotho’s best coaches who has been producing top rated players and coaches.
“Mekoa was at Tšosane Boxing Club during his playing days but without much success as a boxer. However, he was successful in coaching and development having produced the likes of Sibusiso Keketsi, who is currently the highest qualified coach in Lesotho.
“Keketsi, along with the late Mosolesa ‘Fire’ Tsie were the first Lesotho boxers to qualify for the Olympics in 2020. Tsie is also Mekoa’s product. Even myself, I started boxing under Mekoa and today I am in the executive committee of the boxing association,” Ntiea said.
Mekoa was the Lesotho national team coach at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia where former LeBA president, Moses Kopo, won a silver medal.
Although LeBA was considering to give Mekoa a job, his personal commitments made it difficult for him to return to national team coaching.
For his part, Keketsi who started working with Mekoa from the early 90s described him as an extremely consistent coach in developing good boxers.
Mekoa has also produced greats like legend Sephula Letuka. Letuka was the first Mosotho boxer to win a Commonwealth Games medal by bringing home bronze from Manchester, England in 2002.
“When I arrived at Tšosane club, it was after his retirement from competitive boxing and he was starting his coaching career. Most of his boxers reached the highest level of boxing. He has been consistent and his boxers were always in the national teams until today.
“Since he was producing the best boxers, some of the clubs used his club as their source for boxers. When I qualified for the Olympics, I was no longer in his team because I ended up at a club called Best Boxers Club,” Keketsi said.
Keketsi said Mekoa loved boxing and was committed to it.
“He loved the sport and like any other person, he had his personal commitments which forced him to be out of Maseru most of the time but he always created time for boxing,” he added.