CAPE TOWN – Ajax Cape Town will head to the Johannesburg High Court this morning in a bid to halt the promotion play-offs from taking place.
The Cape side was scheduled to participate in the mini-league with two NFD clubs to determine who will play in the Absa Premiership next season. But, after coming out on the wrong side of the Tendai Ndoro saga in the second arbitration hearing on the matter, Ajax are fighting on.
PSL acting CEO Mato Madlala said they were unfazed by Ajax attempt to take the matter to court, saying: “All 32 teams have rights and it's their right to exercise them. If they decide to take the matter to court, we will wait for the court's decision. We did the same today, we followed the ruling and the decision of the arbitrator. We are not fighting anyone but we are following procedures.”
After the saga surrounding the eligibility of Ajax’s Zimbabwean striker Ndoro had dragged on for months, there was finally a verdict yesterday, two days after the end of the season.
The case had previously been through the Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC), an arbitration hearing and two court cases with no resolution.
Arbitrator William Mokhari SC heard the second arbitration on Monday and, in his decision yesterday, he found Ajax guilty. As a result of his decision, the Cape club forfeited matches against Platinum Stars, Polokwane City and SuperSport United.
Mokhari's decision was that they lose all three matches 3-0 and be fined R50 000 on each offence.
As a result of the nine points dropped, Ajax finished last on the revised PSL log and are to be relegated to the NFD. Ndoro was also sentenced to a two-match suspension, while Ajax were ordered to pay the costs of the other parties involved in the arbitration.
But don’t expect that to be the end of it all. This case has still miles to run.
Soon after the arbitrator released his verdict, Ajax announced they would be filing papers with the High Court to interdict the start of the promotion playoffs. The mini-league was supposed to have included Ajax - but, with Mokhari’s decision, the new second-last team Platinum Stars are now scheduled to participate. The other two teams are NFD clubs Black Leopards and Jomo Cosmos.
“The club is in the process of preparing papers to be filed urgently before the High Court in Johannesburg for the matter to be heard tomorrow morning (Wednesday) at 10am,” said an Ajax statement yesterday. “Among other issues, the club will seek to interdict the promotion playoffs from commencing.”
Leopards are not bothered by the drama, spokesman Berry Ramunenyiwa said: “This whole saga is not effecting us. All we want to do is to play. It doesn't matter who we play. We are preparing as normal.”
* Additional reporting by @Minenhlecr7