Court bets against former Kiron employee’s assurances

Virtual sports betting company Kiron Interactive has successfully barred its former employee from joining a rival company for fear that he will compromise its trade secrets.

Kiron Interactive was established in 2001 and has become one of the leading virtual sports betting players. Its products are found on popular websites such as Betway and Hollywood Bets. Its products are branded Jika Sports

The company told the Joburg High Court that it is a leader in virtual sports betting in the African market, including the South African and East African markets. It has a client base in 32 African countries and more than 52% of its revenues are generated on the continent.

Its former manager Ambani Netshishivhe resigned in January and joined Global Bet as a senior adviser. Global Bet is regarded as one of the biggest independent providers of virtual sports software.

Kiron Interactive argued in court that Netshishivhe bound himself for a 12-months period from the termination date that he will not directly or indirectly be employed by any person or entity within the virtual sports industry, or have an interest, directly or indirectly, in any capacity in any trade or business within the industry.

In short, he would not conduct or be interested in any business within the industry. Kiron then asked the court that it provides it the following relief:

  • Stop Netshishivhe from taking up employment with any direct or indirect competitor.
  • Bar him from directly or indirectly using the confidential information for his own benefit or for the benefit of any third party.
  • Stop him from “soliciting, interfering with or enticing or attempting to entice away from the applicant any of the applicant’s staff”.

Netshishivhe was employed by Kiron Interactive in August 2018 as an East Africa account manager. In his reply to his former employer’s claims, he denied that his position at Global Bet places him where he would potentially use Kiron Interactive’s confidential information.

“It is untrue that working for Global Bet automatically puts me in a position to disclose any confidential information of the applicant even if I wanted. I feel the applicant is questioning my integrity and sincerity. This is because my expertise and employment with Global Bet is not in sales, which is where the applicant harbours great fears, but it is in account management, which has nothing to do with disclosing confidential information of the applicant,” he said.

However, the court ruled in Kiron Interactive’s favour. “That the above restraint operates for a period of 12 months from the date of grant of this order and in South Africa, East Africa and specifically Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Malawi.”


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