Best Boxers Club and Others v Butha-Buthe Boxing Club and Others (CIV/APN/120/2003)

Case No: 
CIV/APN/120/2003
Media Neutral Citation: 
[2003] LSHC 35
Judgment Date: 
25 March, 2003

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CIV/APN/120/2003

IN THE HIGH COURT OF LESOTHO


In the Matter Between:


BEST BOXERS CLUB 1st Applicant


BUTHA-BUTHE BOXING CLUB 2nd Applicant

MAFETENG BOXING CLUB ALIAS NDSO BOXING CLUB 3rd Applicant

MESHACK LETSOEPA 4th Applicant

And

LESOTHO AMATEUR BOXING ASSOCIATION 1st Respondent

LESOTHO DEFENCE BOXING CLUB 2nd Respondent

KANONO NTSUKU 3rd Respondent

THATO MABILI 4th Respondent

LEHLOHONOLO KULUBANE 5th Respondent

KATISO TSENOLI 6th Respondent

MOSES KOPO 7th Respondent

HLALELE MP ATI 8th Respondent

MOSOLESA TSIE 9th Respondent


Judgment Delivered by the Hon. Mrs Justice A. M. Hlajoane on 25th March, 2003.


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This is an Application brought before this Court on urgent basis on the following terms:

1. That Rule nisi issue returnable on a date and time to be determined by the Honourable Court calling upon the Respondents to show cause if any why:


  1. The Senior National Championship Tournament organised by First Respondent and held on the 1st March, 2003 for selection of the National Team shall not be declared null and void ab initio and of no legal force and effect;


  1. The Rules as to notice and form shall not be dispensed with on account of urgency;


  1. The First Respondent shall not pay costs hereof and other Respondents only in the event of their opposition to this Application;


  1. The Applicant shall not be granted further and / or alternative relief.

2. Prayer 1 (b) shall not operate with immediate effect as an interim Court Order pending finalization hereof.


When this matter came before me for argument I listened to arguments on both sides and at the end of it all gave an ex temporae judgment dismissing the Application and promised that reasons would follow. What follows therefore are my reasons.

First Applicant is an affiliate member of the First Respondent. In another case before another Court, First Applicant had applied for a declaratory order against the 1st Respondent, declaring First Applicant's suspension from First Respondent's


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activities null and void. Judgment was given in favour of the lst Applicant declaring his suspension null and void. There was also an alternative prayer that was sought which was not granted. The relief sought in the alternative prayer was to defer the March tournament to allow chances for participation by the 1st Applicant, and this prayer was also refused.


In their answering affidavits, Respondents raised certain points in limine. But before going into the issue of points in limine I must hasten to mention that when this matter was argued before me on the 25th march, 2003 the March International Tournament scheduled for Angola was due to begin on the 26th of the same month which was the following day.


The respondents then raised the following Points in limine - Non-joinder. They content that other interested parties have not been joined. These being individuals and clubs that took part in the tournament. A list of those individuals and clubs was given. In answer to that, the Applicant showed that he has not joined those people and clubs which did not win as they have no direct interest in the matter or outcome of the proceedings.


The Respondents are saying that all those parties that have not been joined are not necessary parties in as much as they have lost in the tournament and as such will suffer no prejudice if the tournament is nullified. The argument went further to show that all those who participated in the tournament were awarded medals and trophies including those who did not win and the referees. This fact though was denied by the Applicants whom we are told were there at the tournament, in fact Applicants are not

-4-denying that fact, they are only saying they were not aware of that.


It would mean therefore that, when the tournament is nullified all those medals and trophies will have to be returned and a fresh tournament be held. That sudden round about turn is going to prejudice all those who have won same way as those who have lost. How will they then be asked to return the trophies if they are not party to the proceedings.


The Court of Appeal in National Executive Committee of the Lesotho National Olympic Committee and 10 Others v Paul Motlatsi Morolong C of A (Civ)No26/2001 (unreported) upheld the appeal on among others the ground of non­joinder. The Application was for declaring the election of the 1st Appellant invalid and of no legal force and effect, but the Respondent had failed to include in that case other committee members who had been elected. The Court emphasized the prejudice that would be suffered by those not joined should the elections be annulled.


In the similar vein the annulment of the tournament is going to affect parties not cited in these proceedings prejudicially, and on that point alone the Application falls to be dismissed. Because this point goes to the roots of the matter, there is no need to kill an already dead horse.


The Application therefore is dismissed with costs.


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  1. M. HLAJOANE

JUDGE


For Applicant: Mr Mathaba

For Respondents: Mr Phoofolo