We've got news for you.

Register on TimesLIVE at no cost to receive newsletters, read exclusive articles & more.
Register now

Sentencing in Royal AM disciplinary hearing postponed to August 21

12 August 2021 - 09:25 By Marc Strydom
Sentencing in the disciplinary committee hearing against Royal AM for not honouring their promotion-relegation playoff matches has been postponed. File photo.
Sentencing in the disciplinary committee hearing against Royal AM for not honouring their promotion-relegation playoff matches has been postponed. File photo.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Sentencing in the disciplinary committee (DC) hearing into Royal AM failing to honour their four Premier Soccer League (PSL) playoff fixtures was postponed for further evidence in mitigation to Saturday, August 21, TimesLIVE is informed.

Royal were found guilty of all charges in their DC hearing on Wednesday night. Cross-examinations continued late into the night.

Royal, locked in a protracted court battle to be reinstated as champions of the 2020-21 GladAfrica Championship, boycotted all their promotion-relegation playoff matches.

The award of a 3-0 win, as per NSL Handbook rules, to the opposition teams will be a mere formality in the DC now that Royal have been found guilty. It is understood that PSL prosecutor Nande Becker has also asked for a sizeable fine to be imposed, and perhaps further sanctions.

The DC does not have the authority to expel Royal, but can recommend that such a drastic measure come before the PSL board of governors, consisting of the 32 Premiership and GladAfrica clubs.

After postponements on two successive weekends arguments were heard in the DC on Saturday July 31. A date was set for Wednesday for the findings to be pronounced.

The DC is the latest in the long saga involving Royal AM and an arbitration award of three points to Sekhukhune United on May 19. That decision came in the week before the final round of matches in the GladAfrica‚ and resulted in Sekhukhune winning the second-tier for automatic promotion to the DStv Premiership.

Previous log leaders Royal were bumped down to second place by the three points awarded to Sekhukhune‚ and into the playoffs. They have waged a legal battle to be reinstated as champions at the courts since.

Premier division team Chippa United preserved their top-flight status in the playoffs‚ as Durban team AM‚ owned by flamboyant businesswoman and reality TV show star Shauwn Mkhize‚ boycotted their games.

Royal’s legal interpretation was that an earlier interdict against the playoffs proceeding by judge Nyathi still applied even after deputy judge president Roland Sutherland had dismissed the club’s leave to appeal against the high court’s decision to uphold the arbitration decision. Royal have applied to have their case heard at the Supreme Court of Appeal.

The PSL’s legal advice was that the interdict fell away once Sutherland dismissed the case at the high court‚ so continued with the playoffs.

The DC was first pushed back on Saturday July 17 when Royal brought an application for the postponement without the correct paperwork‚ and were given time to file it‚ Becker said at the time.

The Saturday July 24 virtual hearing was postponed apparently because Mkhize had taken sick and could not attend.