The annual Gaborone marathon is embroiled in controversy regarding a name ownership that involves an individual and the organisers of the race.
A certain Balepeng Montwedi claims that he is the rightful owner of the name Phakalane Marathon that is being used by the organizers.
He told Telegraph Sports that he registered the name with the Registrar of Companies in 2005 and has valid papers to prove that.
“When the marathon started about three years ago, I was actually asking myself what was really going on. I then decided to double check at Registrar of Companies to see whether am I still the rightful owner or not. I was still the owner and I just watched as my registered trade name was flushed all over, including on bill boards. I just told myself that the right time to take action will come,” he said.
Montwedi also added that following the failure of the second edition of the marathon last year, he got a call from one of the tournament organisers, Stallen Bengtsson, saying he wanted to see me and discuss this issue, but nothing was agreed upon.
“I met Bengtsson and he told me that I was wasting the name and I should let them just use it. I then told him that I wanted the name to be used for something different from what they are doing. I told him that if they seriously wanted to use it they should collaborate with me and if they wanted to be rightful owners we should agree upon something,” he said. Montwedi stressed that Bengtsson ended up saying they would meet again but they did not until he (Montwedi) contacted him.
Montwedi said upon meeting for the second time, Bentsson acted as if he did not know him.
“It was as if we never met before and he said he forgot about me because he was always busy. He then said he wanted to consult the committee on the matter. He then told me that they wanted to change the name, but to my surprise I learned that they were still using the same name,” he said. Montwedi added that, latter on, he got a call from Collins and Newman law firm and they asked him to come to their offices. He said the reception he got there left much to be desired.
name“The guys that I met there told me point blank that they were doing me a favour by calling. They told me that there is no way I can claim to be the rightful owner of Gaborone Marathon unless it is the Gaborone City Council. They even stressed that even if I can go to the courts of law I would lose the case from the onset. After being told that I was really surprised and shocked,” he said.
On his part, Bentsson told Telegraph Sports that the matter with Montwedi is water under the bridge and the preparations for the race that will be held this coming weekend are underway.
“Our lawyers have informed us about Montwedi that he cannot be the rightful owner of the name and, as such, we can continue using it. The matter has been solved as we speak and we are busy for the weekend event,” he said.