Ten years after the 2010 World Cup the Supreme Court of Appeal has given judgment in a dispute between the South African Football Association and a travel business relating to travel arrangements for the competition. The parties had a settlement agreement which was in ‘full and final settlement’ of the dispute relating to whether SAFA had to provide air tickets to Fli-Afrika to enable it to book accommodation and related arrangements. The parties agreed to ‘release each other from any obligation implied or otherwise that may exist in connection with any such commitments’.

Fli-Afrika alleged that the settlement only related to future and not past obligations and sued for the booking disbursements it had incurred of about R14million.

It was held that the settlement agreement identified the dispute between the parties and settled the dispute in three inter-locking clauses. It was clear that the agreement was, as it proclaimed, in full and final settlement of all obligations that had arisen, including any claims for damages that may have arisen by the time the settlement was concluded.

It would not have made any sense for the parties to conclude a settlement agreement that only purported to regulate any future relationship between them. Any obligations created had been extinguished by the settlement agreement.

Surprisingly the lower court had found in favour of Fli-Afrika. Settlements are settlements and must be respected.

The case is South African Football Association v Fli-Afrika Travel (Pty) Limited.