Content creator’s R30m lawsuit against Moja Love bites the dust

Content creator Thabani Mpungose will have to go back to the drawing board after his R30-million lawsuit against Moja Love was thrown out of court on Thursday.

Mpungose was also ordered to pay legal costs. This after his bid to stop the Moja Love show, A se Nna, from airing. The case was dismissed for the fourth time.

In 2023, Mpungose claimed that he was the concept owner of Moja Love’s hit series. The series is about criminal justice. He demanded that the channel pay him R30-million for stealing his idea.

Nonzwakazi Cekete, spokesperson for Moja Love, referred to Mpungose’s legal proceedings as pointless and vexatious. She said this in a statement made public on Friday.

Urgent application dismissed

“The South Gauteng High Court yesterday dismissed a fourth urgent application with costs brought by Mr Jeffrey Mpungose and three others,” said Cekete.

“In March 2023, the applicants brought an urgent application in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court. The application was seeking to interdict Moja Love from broadcasting its independently produced hit show, A se Nna. This was on the basis that Moja Love had ‘stolen’ the applicants’ idea.

“The KwaZulu-Natal High Court dismissed that application on the basis of lack of jurisdiction with costs.

“A few hours thereafter, the applicants launched a similar application in the South Gauteng High Court on the same facts. And that application was also dismissed with costs for lack of urgency.”

In July 2023, Mpungose launched a third and failed application to stop Moja Love from broadcasting A se Nna.

Failure to provide proof

“Despite amicable efforts to understand the applicants’ cause of complaint, the applicants’ failed to provide Moja Love with any proof relating to any copyright infringement, including ownership and/or ‘theft of their idea’ as they claim.”

On Wednesday, Mpungose launched the fourth urgent application in the South Gauteng High Court. The matter was dismissed, and Mpungose was ordered to pay Moja Love’s legal costs.

Moja Love’s co-head of channel and executive producer of A Se Nna, Shoki Zama, expressed relief. She said: “It has been a year of expensive litigation and start-and-stops.

“As a channel, we are delighted to be able to continue providing our viewers with content. …Especially that resonates with some realities faced by ordinary South Africans.”

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