In an unexpected twist in a legal drama that has captured the attention of both the entertainment and corporate sectors in Botswana, the High Court in Gaborone witnessed a swift ruling from Justice Zein Kebonang in the high-profile case between Perfect Steps (Pty) Ltd, known as Born & Raised, The Dialogue Group and BTC Limited.
The lawsuit, which revolves around a breach of sponsorship agreement for two major music events in 2019 and 2020, has raised significant questions about contract enforceability in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Born & Raised through its Co-Founder and Director Kgotla Molatedi alleges that despite fulfilling their part of the agreement for the annual Christmas Eve concert in Serowe, the defendants failed to provide promised financial and Wi-Fi support for the December 2020 event. The plaintiff claims damages of almost P2 million, including the agreed sponsorship amount of BWP 250,000.00 and BWP 18,350.00 for Wi-Fi services, alongside consequential damages and legal costs.
The legal battle underscores the challenges faced by the entertainment industry during the pandemic, navigating the complexities of event management under stringent health protocols. The case also highlights the responsibilities of corporate entities in honoring their commitments during unforeseen global crises.
Justice Kebonang's ruling came as a shock when on the second day of trial, just 15 minutes after hearing arguments for "absolution/no case to answer," he decided that The Dialogue Group, the first defendant, was completely absolved from the case with costs awarded against Born & Raised on a party to party basis.
However, Born & Raised managed to establish a cause of action against BTC Limited, necessitating its defense in the ongoing case. This decision marks a pivotal moment in the lawsuit, drawing keen interest from various sectors for its potential to set precedents in contractual law in the post-pandemic era. The case continues in the High Court in Gaborone.