Court to decide on Joe Thomas saga

Joe Thomas
Joe Thomas

The Lobatse High Court is expected to make a ruling on whether Kgalagadi Breweries Limited (KBL) has a case to answer against businessman Kgosietsile Mariri over the Joe Thomas saga.

Justice Godfrey Ntlhomiwa will deliberate on what is believed to be a case that would set precedence for matters involving breach of confidence.  It would be the first of its kind in the country between the two parties.

The saga reached court last week after Mariri took KBL to task over what he called a breach of confidence.

Mariri had argued that the company stole ideas from a proposal he submitted at the company in April 2012 to bring American crooner Joe Thomas to the country for a music show.


The show was later staged solely by KBL in 2013 and Mariri is now seeking damages in the sum of P800,000 being lost profit, which he says he would have earned had he participated in the show.

However, the company through its attorney John Carr-Hartley is contesting having a case to answer and wants the case to be absolved.

Countering on Mariri’s evidence Carr-Hartley argued that he (Mariri) had not made out a case for the relief that he seeks from the company and that the company did not at all use his proposal like he claims.

Carr-Hartley said the evidence presented before court by Mariri failed to demonstrate that indeed the company used his proposal more so that there was not any confidential clause signed during the proposal submission.

“The proposal was not a novel or original idea and that there was no confidential nature to the proposal.  He simply had no right, which can be enforced against my client,” he said.

He argued that in the absence of Mariri having established a duty on the company then the company was entitled to absolution from the instance and that it should be granted.

Mariri on the other hand through his attorney, Merapelo Mariri is adamant that he submitted the proposal to KBL in good favour and that he was sure that the company would not breach confidence.

He argued that there may have not been any contract signed, but at the end the company used his proposal without his consent.  He added that all that was in the proposal besides the photos taken from the Internet was confidential.

He said he had enough evidence to show that the company stole and used his ideas to stage the music show for their 40th anniversary using the same artistes he had proposed.

“Everything in my proposal was used by the company, the proposed artistes, the budget and even the venue despite being told that no one had shown interest in bringing Joe Thomas except me,” he said.

The ruling will be delivered on April 24, 2015.

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