Royal AM disciplinary hearing postponed again

24 July 2021 - 17:16 By Marc Strydom
Royal AM CEO Sinky Mnisi insists the Durban club won the GladAfrica Chmapionship "fair and square on the field of play".
Royal AM CEO Sinky Mnisi insists the Durban club won the GladAfrica Chmapionship "fair and square on the field of play".
Image: Gallo Images

The disciplinary committee (DC) hearing into Royal AM’s no-shows for their Premier Soccer League promotion-relegation playoffs matches has been postponed again.

The DC has been postponed by a week for a second time until Saturday.

It is understood that Royal’s legal representatives brought two applications for a postponement — one of which‚ that the Durban club’s owner‚ Shauwn Mkhize‚ had taken sick and was bedridden‚ and could not attend the virtual hearing‚ was granted.

AM’s other application‚ that the DC be postponed until the entire process of their legal case at the Supreme Court of Appeal to be reinstated as GladAfrica Championship (National First Division‚ or NFD) champions is completed, was not granted. This process‚ with further applications possible to the Constitutional Court‚ could take months to be completed.

On Monday‚ judgment will be delivered by Judge Leonie Windell in a South Gauteng High Court action brought by Royal asking for PSL acting CEO Mato Madlala and the league to be held in contempt of court for the playoffs matches proceeding. It is understood the matter of reinstating an earlier interdict by Judge Nyathi against the playoffs could also be part of that judgment.

Royal had previously had the DC postponed last Saturday‚ when they “brought an application for a postponement without filing affidavits in support of such application”‚ PSL prosecutor Nande Becker had said at the time.

Becker continued that an objection “was made to the improper way in which the club was trying to proceed and the panel ordered‚ for the sake of fairness‚ that the club file the necessary paperwork by [this past] Tuesday”.

The DC hearing is the latest event in the long saga involving Royal‚ the GladAfrica’s final standings and the PSL’s promotion-relegation playoffs.

An arbitration result before the final game of the NFD had awarded three points to Sekhukhune United regarding a game in February where Polokwane City did not field the required five under-23 players.

After the final round of results‚ this made Sekhukhune champions and up for automatic promotion to the PSL‚ and bumped Royal down to the playoffs.

Royal did not honour any of their playoff matches‚ interpreting the interdict they had obtained from Judge Nyathi against the playoffs proceeding as applying because they were applying to take their case to the Supreme Court of Appeal.

The PSL’s legal advice had been that the interdict fell away once deputy judge president Roland Sutherland had dismissed Royal’s leave to appeal to the high court‚ which had earlier upheld the arbitration ruling‚ so proceeded with the playoffs.

The DC matter seems certain to uphold the rule of the NSL handbook for a no-show by a team that a 3-0 win be awarded to the opposition. PSL prosecutor Nande Becker is expected to also push for a hefty fine.

The DC does not have the power to expel a club‚ but can recommend such drastic action to come before the PSL’s board of governors.