Johannesburg – R&B chanteuse Nandi Madida has been slapped with a R14-million lawsuit by a KwaZulu-Natal company, which is accusing her of cheating it out of the famous Lux soap deal.
Jali Bird, which is owned by Sobukwe Hlongwane Jali, obtained combined summons against Madida at the Joburg High Court last week and has given the velvet-voiced singer 10 days to file notice of her intention to defend.
It threatened to obtain a default judgment against her if she failed to do so.
The lawsuit comes at least a year after Madida, who is married to house music superstar Zakes Bantwini, real name Zakhele Madida, filed a lawsuit in the same court against DJ Black Coffee’s former manager Amaru Da Costa after accusing him of short-paying her over R3.7-million from the lucrative deal.
Madida, nee Mngoma, clinched the deal from Unilever to be the ambassador of the soap and has shot several billboards, radio and TV adverts to promote it.
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In the court papers, which Sunday World has seen, Jali Bird said Madida, who was represented by her agent Ade Holding and Unilever South Africa, had concluded a “talent service agreement” with it on July 10 2018 in Durban and Johannesburg.
In terms of the agreement, which came to effect on September 1 2018, Jali Bird said Madida would promote and endorse the soap while it managed the campaign.
Jali Bird said though Unilever did not sign the agreement, it subsequently acted according to its terms and conditions thus tacitly abiding itself by it.
Madida, Jali Bird said, had breached the agreement when she refused or failed to perform the services for Unilever and also refused to cooperate with it (Jali Bird) in the management of the campaign.
It said Madida’s American lawyer Janine Beach wrote a letter to its subsidiary company, Sibs Jali, in December 2018 and stated that the songbird wanted to end the relationship with the company.
It said Madida also wrote letters to it in January and February 2019 and said she would refuse to cooperate with it in the campaign and demanded its removal from the deal and be replaced by another entity, Edelman.
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After several discussions with Unilever, Jali Bird said it entered into an oral and written agreement with it to terminate the Lux campaign because of Madida’s refusal to work with it and her interference in its contract with the multibillion-rand company.
Jali Bird said because of Madida’s antics, the company had lost over R6.7-million as a result of the termination of the Lux deal, and over R7.3-million it could have earned from other Unilever campaigns.
Jali Bird said Madida should alternatively pay it over R6.7-million from over R8-million that Ade Holding paid to her in January last year.
It added that it decided to seek legal recourse after Madida refused or failed to pay the money despite several letters sent to her.
Madida said she cannot comment because the matter is sub judice.
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