Makhadzi’s R8m sneaker legal battle kicked into high gear

After failing to come to a settlement with The Kicks Brand, internationally renowned musician Ndivhudzannyi “Makhadzi” Ralivhola and her former record label Open Mic Productions are facing a pretrial.

Formerly known as Kicks Sportswear, the company had taken the two parties to court and demanded a R8.2 million settlement for their failure to promote Kicks Kokovha, the company’s then-new addition.

After multiple attempts to resolve the issue without going to trial, Sammy Mhaule, the founder of The Kicks Brand, declared that it was time to take the case to the next level.

Terms of the agreement breached

He said Makhadzi and Open Mic breached the terms of the agreement when the artist failed to wear the sneakers to her performances and did not promote the brand on social media as expected.

He clarified that although the company was dissatisfied with this, it had tried every option to find a truce between the parties without success.

“What really caused further division is that Makhadzi and Open Mic separated when I had already demanded compensation, and it seems there was an argument between them on who was more involved in the deal,” said Mhaule.

“It should be noted that their separation should not affect me in any way because they both signed that contract and they are very much involved in this matter.

“So, we decided with my legal team that both should pay R4.1-million to make up the R8.2-million needed here.”

Efforts to solve impasse

Mhaule said the company had a meeting with Open Mic and Makhadzi on separate occasions in an effort to discuss a possible resolution to the matter.

He claimed that although The Kicks Brand had suggested that both parties perform in order to settle the debt, Open Mic had rejected the idea after discovering that Makhadzi had also been given the same suggestion.

Mhaule claims that the relationship between Makhadzi and Open Mic has been a problem that has hindered business.

The songstress was expected at the Influential 40 event as a special guest after they had agreed to call a truce, he said, but it was broken when Makhadzi had a change of heart.

Makhadzi does not follow protocol

“You will have a conversation with Makhadzi as she portrays this sweet, humble, and kind personality, then she will suddenly be arrogant when it is time for her to stick to her end of the deal.

“So, we cannot put up; we are going to have to go to court one way or another. Makhadzi has never been an artist who follows protocol.

“We have no personal issues, but these are ethics and principles of business, and she needs to understand that this is a legal matter; she needs to be advised.”

Open Mic’s legal representative, Nape Masipa, stated that despite multiple meetings, The Kicks Brand had not provided them with a plan of action.

Legal representative plays hide and seek

“They [The Kicks Brand] are in a better position to give more information on this case because it is in their hands,” Masipa said.

“We have not paid anything from the money demanded because we also have certain beliefs in this matter.”

When contacted for comment, Makhadzi’s legal representative, Palesa Ledwaba, said she would consult with her client.

Later, she failed to pick up Sunday World’s phone calls and WhatsApp texts.

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