THE court action brought against the SABC to pay Sportfive about R1 billion for the rights to broadcast the African Cup of Nations has been dismissed in France, the broadcaster said, according to a reporet on

Spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said in a statement that the ruling comes after the agent for the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Sportfive, instituted legal action to force the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) to pay up in terms of an unauthorised contract.

He said Sportfive had summonsed the SABC to force it to meet the terms of the said contract, which was found by the broadcaster's Interim Board to be invalid. Kganyago said the contract was invalid because it was not authorised in terms of the South African statutes governing the SABC.

He said the Interim Board tried to initiate discussions with Sportfive to negotiate the terms of the agreements as the Interim Board held the view that honouring such a contract would require it to perform an illegal act. But Sportfive responded by applying for summary judgement against the SABC which if granted, would have forced the SABC to honour the contract.

The court dismissed the application and stated that the matter could not be dealt with under the French Civil Code as the SABC was contesting the validity of the contract. Interim Board member, Leslie Sedibe, said the ruling in favour of the SABC allowed the broadcaster to reopen negotiations. He said the SABC was still open to holding talks with Sportfive with the view of entering into a contract properly authorised by the Board of the SABC in line with all legislations governing the broadcaster.

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