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MBABANE - Eswatini Mobile (Proprietary) Limited is being sued for E1.2 million by the company which was responsible for organising the Carnival Music show.

In its particulars of claim, AIV Investment (Proprietary) related to the court that in October 2022, its representative approached the defendant (Eswatini Mobile) wherein he (representative) pitched and proposed a concept coined ‘The Rebirth of Music Carnival’. According to the plaintiff (AIV Investment Proprietary), the defendant allegedly showed interest in the concept such that the parties entered into an oral agreement. It is alleged by the plaintiff that the agreement was to the effect that Eswatini Mobile would sponsor ‘The Rebirth of Music Carnival’ with a sum of E1 million in support of the concept.  


The plaintiff further submitted that, shortly, thereafter, the oral agreement was allegedly publicly confirmed by Eswatini Mobile, through the publication of a newspaper article where it declared itself as the sponsor. The court heard that, pursuant to the conclusion of the oral agreement, the plaintiff commenced preparations towards the event, which included, but not limited to, paying artists’ booking fees (40 artists), booking the venue, designing and publishing posters/flyers, trips to and from Johannesburg to source the necessary equipment and other expenses incidental to ensuring the events success. The plaintiff said this was despite that it had not received any funds from the defendant as the headline sponsor of the event. “In the midst of the plaintiff making preparations, Eswatini Mobile unilaterally altered or acted outside the scope of its obligations or mandate as it hired two individuals without consultation or notice given to the plaintiff, which was initially not agreed upon,” submitted the plaintiff. 

According to the plaintiff, Eswatini Mobile further ordered it to refrain from interacting or engaging the media in relation to the event. Eswatini Mobile is alleged to have also told the plaintiff that the event was ‘too big’ for it (plaintiff), yet the concept belonged to the former. Annexed to the court papers filed by the plaintiff is a booklet of payments it made in preparation for the event. “It follows that the plaintiff did not take kindly to this but for the sake of progression, it complied with such an order nonetheless. Notwithstanding the plaintiff’s compliance with these orders, the defendant subsequently terminated the oral agreement without communicating any reason(s) for such withdrawing as sponsors at the eleventh hour,” contended the plaintiff.  It was also the plaintiff’s submission that, as a by-product of its alleged unilateral termination of the agreement, the defendant subsequently blocked the eMali accounts that were used to collect proceeds from ticket sales and further informed those who had purchased tickets that they would be refunded. The court was told that not only were the tickets for the show branded with the defendant’s logo, but they were also availed at its shops.  

This, according to the plaintiff, illustrated that indeed, Eswatini Mobile had declared itself as sponsors and had taken control of the event, much to the plaintiff’s exclusion and consequently detriment. “In light of the fact that the defendant unilaterally withdrew at the 11th hour, the plaintiff approached an entity trading under the style name Instacash Eswatini (Proprietary) Limited in an attempt to secure them as sponsors, of which they agreed, subject to the defendant releasing a press statement wherein it officially and publicly withdrew as sponsors of the event and to allow them to declare themselves sponsors,” alleged the plaintiff. The plaintiff said when it requested the defendant to publicly issue its withdrawal statement, it allegedly refused to do so, much to its (plaintiff) prejudice and financial detriment as it eventually lost sponsorship from Instacash Eswatini. In its particulars of claim, the plaintiff submitted that the defendant’s alleged last minute unilateral decision to terminate the agreement had dire financial consequences to it. These are allegations whose veracity is still to be tested in court and Eswatini Mobile is yet to respond to the allegations.


“To name a few, Malkerns Country Club  had agreed to let the plaintiff have the event hosted there solely because of the event’s affiliation with a  sizeable corporation such as Eswatini Mobile, as such  the venue had to be changed when  Malkerns Country Club representatives discovered that the event was no longer sponsored by the defendant. Therefore, the venue had to be changed to Manzini Club, notwithstanding having already made payments to book the initial venue,” argued the plaintiff. It was also brought to the attention of the court that the plaintiff suffered irreparable harm as a direct consequence of the defendant’s conduct. The plaintiff is represented by lawyers from M.J Manzini and Associates.