Joe Thomas saga reaches High Court

No retreat: Mariri (left) conferring with his lawyer at the Lobatse High Court yesterday. PIC: KAGISO ONKATSWITSE
No retreat: Mariri (left) conferring with his lawyer at the Lobatse High Court yesterday. PIC: KAGISO ONKATSWITSE

The tussle between event organiser and music promoter, Kgosietsile Mariri and Kgalagadi Breweries Limited (KBL) over a Joe Thomas show in 2012, reached the High Court yesterday, with the promoter seeking P800,000 for alleged breach of confidentiality.

Mariri, who in 2012 had intended to bring the American Rhythm and Blues crooner, says the company used his idea to bring the artist to the country, unfairly.

In early 2013, Mariri lost to KBL after approaching the court seeking an urgent court order to restrain KBL from proceeding with the concert. Giving evidence through his attorney, Merapelo Mariri, yesterday before Justice Godfrey Ntlhomiwa, Mariri said KBL took his idea and implemented it without his knowledge.

Mariri explained how in April 2012 he had submitted a proposal to KBL hoping for full sponsorship to bring Joe Thomas into the country. He said the beverage giant later brought Thomas in for their 40th anniversary celebration.


“I submitted the proposal through my company BP Implementations together with a full budget for the whole show and it was done in a professional setup,” he said.

He said he had chosen KBL as the company was prominent in sponsoring artists.

Mariri said things started to unfold when he enquired about the progress of his proposal only to be told that there was another proposal similar to his and that KBL was not sure which one was legit. “I did ask if there was anyone who was bringing Thomas and I was told there was no one. All the time I was communicating with KBL through emails,” he said.

The disgruntled Mariri said he was later surprised to see that KBL had decided to bring the American crooner, using the same budgets and material for advertising he had implemented in his proposal. “The whole idea had a lot of resemblance to my proposal and even the budget was the same with a slight difference of P50. When I enquired, I was told that there was another proposal similar to mine,” he said.

 Countering Mariri’s evidence, KBL attorney John Carr-Hartley said the company had no obligation to use Mariri’s proposal moreso that there was no contract signed whatsoever. He also said the company could have thrown the proposal in the dustbin if they wanted and there was no non-disclosure agreement between the two parties. “The company was not obliged to use the proposal moreso that the company’s events management company had also made a proposal to bring Joe Thomas to the country. It was not only you who had the idea. Two other companies had made the same proposal earlier,” he said.  Carr-Hartley added that Mariri’s proposal of bringing the artist was not a peculiar thing as artistes are regularly brought into the country. “KBL had every right to use any proposal other than that of Mariri,” he said.

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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