Private hotel group Ma-Afrika Hotels has launched an application for leave to appeal an eviction order – brought by its landlord Venezia Trust – to the Constitutional Court, citing the Covid-19 pandemic and related government-imposed lockdown restrictions as reasons why the group failed to pay its rent.

Moneyweb reports that the group which owns a mix of five-star and three-star hotels and accommodations establishments in the Western Cape has argued that considering the events of the last two years, the eviction is against public policy and is unconstitutional.

This latest development follows the group’s business interruption insurance court battle with short-term insurance giant Santam last year – a battle that it eventually won.

Ma-Afrika contends that a grand-scale disaster in the form of a pandemic was not in the contemplation of the parties when the lease agreement was signed, and that the enforcement of the lease, and the eviction notice, were against public policy and unconstitutional.

The group says its decision to take the matter to the apex court is also motivated by a need to set new legal precedent that speaks to the plight of the country’s tourism sector, which was dealt several crippling Covid-19-related blows over the last two years.

Full Moneyweb report