Zakes Bantwini’s R2.4m legal blues

Award-winning house music proponent Zakes Bantwini’s blockbuster album, Ghetto King, has composed financial and legal blues for him.

Zakes Bantwini’s company, Mayonie Production, has been slapped with R2.4-million lawsuit for breach of contract by international record company Paradise Africa. He is accused of signing a marketing and sales deal with rival record label Universal Music.

Paradise Africa filed papers in the Joburg High Court in which it is demanding that the artist’s record label pay the staggering amount for the
income it has lost as a result of its double-dipping.

In the court papers which Sunday World has seen, Paradise Africa said it concluded a written exclusive master recording agreement with Zakes Bantwini’s company in Germany or KwaZulu-Natal on August 6 last year.

In terms of the agreement, which was supposed to be in effect for a period of 10 years, Mayonie Production granted Paradise Africa the right to exploit and distribute the album’s audio and audio visual products in territories of America, Australia, New Zealand and Europe.

It also granted Paradise Africa the right to sell Zakes Bantwini’s songs anywhere in the world, excluding Africa, on popular online music stores such as Traxsource ad Beartport.

It also authorised Paradise Africa to allow service providers and other third parties to digitally exploit the album in all technical formats and products via digital distribution.

In addition to the non physical exploitation, Zakes Bantwini’s company authorised Paradise Africa to exploit and to permit physical exploitation of the album, which was released last year, through service providers.

Paradise Africa agreed to pay Zakes Bantwini’s company 50% of the net profit on the exploitation of the album.

The singer’s label indemnified and held Paradise Africa harmless from any damages, liabilities, costs, losses and expenses arising out of or connected to any claim, action or demand by a third party.

Paradise Africa said Zakes Bantwini’s company breached the contract when it signed an agreement with Universal Music on October 27 2016, in which the musician, real name Zakhele Madida, granted it exclusive rights to exploit the album for a period of 10 years from October 12 2016.

The deal between the artist and Universal Music meant that he no longer held the exclusive exploitation rights to the album and rendered their agreement invalid. “The defendant did not hold the right, power and authority to enter in the [new] agreement,” read the papers.

The company said were it not for the breach, it would have exclusively exploited the album and derived commercial value from it until at least 2030.

“The plaintiff would earn a profit of no less than R2 402 754.In the circumstances, the defendant is liable to the plaintiff in the amount of R2 402 754,” read the papers.

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