Joyous Celebration in legal row over venue bill

Joyous Celebration co-owner Lindelani Mkhize said the matter had been dealt with. Photo: Gallo Images / City Press / Leon Sadiki
Joyous Celebration co-owner Lindelani Mkhize said the matter had been dealt with. Photo: Gallo Images / City Press / Leon Sadiki


The owners of multiaward-winning gospel group Joyous Celebration recently acted swiftly to avoid their assets being sold to recover debt.

This follows a default judgment that was handed down in the Johannesburg High Court after the owners apparently failed to make legal representation to oppose a claim for more than R500 000 brought by venue owner Sunwest International.

City Press understands that the court issued the judgment on May 2, over a combined summons, which was filed by the Cape Town-based company in July.

A default judgment is granted by a court in circumstances where the defendant (Joyous Celebration in this case) fails to file answering affidavits to oppose the claim made by the plaintiff (Sunwest International in this case).

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However, Joyous Celebration co-owner Lindelani Mkhize said the matter had been dealt with.

“Yes, I am aware and my understanding is that the matter has been resolved between them and our management,” he explained, declining to divulge when and how the matter was resolved.

According to Sunwest International’s papers, they agreed to hire a venue for one of the gospel group’s annual signature concerts, which took place in June 2019.

 The combined summons read:

On February 6 2019, the plaintiff and the defendant entered into a partly written and partly oral agreement ... The plaintiff would hire out a concert venue to the defendant from June 27 2019 to June 30 2019 and render other goods and services, as reflected in the plaintiff’s invoices, for the amount of R577 576.

According to that agreement, Joyous Celebration was supposed to effect 50% of the contract agreement after the dates were confirmed. The payment was scheduled to be paid before June 15 2019, but this did not materialise.

The papers stated that despite numerous letters of demand, their pleas for payment were ignored.

“The banqueting goods and services were rendered to the defendant on June 29 2019 at the concert venue ... The plaintiff provided invoices for all services rendered. However, the defendant failed to pay the balance of the contract price. The agreement is not a credit agreement and the provisions of the National Credit Act do not apply to this agreement.”

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The group staged its first live gospel show in 1996 and has grown to be a household name in the South African gospel industry.

Joyous Celebration has won more than 10 SA Music Awards in the past decade and also performed at a renowned international event in 2017 in Ghana called the One Voice Festival.


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