Chips for Black Aces as a club name?

2009-10-24 15:05

THERE seems to be no end to a two-year-old spat between the past and current owners of Mpumalanga Black Aces.

Former club boss Veli Mahlangu told City Press on Friday that there were legal processes taking place behind the scenes, as he was challenging Aces’ current bosses to forego “Black Aces” in the club’s ­emblem.

But Mario and George Morfou, the two brothers at the helm as joint-chairpersons, have accused Mahlangu of “dash for cash” in the Absa Premiership rookies.

Mario, the eldest of the siblings, said they first received a letter from Mahlangu on the eve of the club’s final in the Nedbank final against Mamelodi Sundowns last year.

The follow-up copy was forwarded just recently, according to ­Morfou.

The Morfous have since responded through their lawyers with a hard-hitting letter.

“The club does not operate under Witbank Black Aces and has decided on a course of action to incorporate the new demographics of South Africa and operates under the name of Mpumalanga Black Aces.

“Our trademark lawyers, Adams & Adams, have been dealing with this and we are pleased to inform you that we are fully compliant,” read the ­letter.

Mahlangu, who was the last owner of the club the last time Aces campaigned in the elite league, said it was not about the money.

“It is either they drop the name or pay. ‘Black Aces’ is a catch phrase in the name and it is my registered trademark,” warned Mahlangu, adding that “I don’t want to fight them in the media as my lawyers are currently working on the matter”.

The ex-South African Football Association (Safa) and National Soccer League (NSL) executive member added: “Witbank Black Aces is still there registered as a (Pty) Ltd.”

Although Mahlangu insisted that the brand was still his, the Morfous would have none of it.

“The full status of your defunct club that ended up moving out of Witbank (Emalahleni) and dropped two divisions, was purchased firstly by Robert Gumede and eventually, in an effort to revive football in the province, by Mario Morfou.”

City Press reported two years ago on two parties who also claimed to be the rightful owners of the club known to local soccer followers as “Amazayoni”.

One was the former club official Henry Mhlongo and an unnamed group of former players.

At the time Mhlongo claimed they had registered the club as a close corporation and later upgraded it to a proprietary limited.

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