No end in sight for PSL to tangled court web as Royal AM vow to appeal
The GladAfrica Championship promotion-relegation court saga, which has taken the Premier Soccer League (PSL) more than a month to resolve, is far from over.
This is despite Gauteng High Court deputy judge president Roland Sutherland’s order on Friday night that dismissed Royal AM’s application to have his initial order, which he gave last week on Saturday, reviewed in the Supreme Court of Appeal.
Immediately after Sutherland’s order on Friday night, the law firm representing Royal AM, Mabuza Attorneys, issued a notification letter to the PSL, indicating they will now appeal against Sutherland’s order via section 17(2)(b) of the Superior Courts Act . Section 17(2)(b) allows an aggrieved client to take a matter to the higher court even if a lower court dismissed their application for leave to appeal.
Royal Am are still of the view that the Supreme Court of Appeal can grant them what they want.
“As indicated during the hearing [on Friday] of the application for leave to appeal heard before his Lordship Justice Sutherland DJP), and in view of the outcome thereof, we hold instructions to lodge an application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal alternatively the full bench in terms of section 17(2)(b) of the Superior Courts Act 10 of 2013,” Mabuza Attorneys wrote to the league on Friday night.
They added in point number three in their letter that: “As you will recall the order of His Lordship Justice Nyathi AJ granted Royal AM an interim order to the effect that pending the final determination for leave to appeal the commencement of the 2021 GladAfrica promotion/relegation playoffs is suspended.”
The PSL, which has already run against time to stage the playoffs, is yet to publicly respond to the Royal AM letter.
Granting the league some form of reprieve on Friday, Sutherland dismissed Royal AM’s application, saying: “In my view the application for leave to appeal must be dismissed.
“For those reasons I give this order: 1, the application for leave to appeal is dismissed. 2, the costs incurred by Sekhukhune in participating in the application for leave to appeal would be borne by Royal AM. And 3, costs incurred by Safa and PSL should be borne by themselves.”
Sutherland’s order last Saturday made Sekhukhune winners of the GladAfrica Championship‚ gaining automatic promotion to the Premier Division‚ which bumped Royal AM down to the playoffs.
Royal AM, however, succeeded twice this week to halt the start of the promotion/relegation playoffs after the PSL grudgingly acceded to the Durban club’s demand that playoffs, which were to kick off in Gqeberha on Thursday, be postponed.
After Sutherland’s order last Saturday, the PSL had issued playoffs fixtures that indicated that Royal AM had to travel to play Richards Bay United in the first match on Tuesday. That match was, however, postponed after acting judge AJ Nyathi of the Gauteng High Court approved an interdict sought by Royal AM on Monday night.
In concluding their latest letter to the PSL, Royal AM said: “To the extent that your counsel made reference to ‘tomorrow’s [Saturday] playoff game” or words to that effect it should therefore be plain that any indulgence in such ‘a game’ will not only be futile but constitutes contempt of court as more fully explained in our letter dated June 16 2021.”