CAPE TOWN – The founders of the new Mr Tekkie confirmed on Thursday that they would oppose the latest court application brought by the Pepkor Holdings to interdict the independent businessmen from using the Mr Tekkie name, its proposed branding or its trademarks.
“This is just another step in Pepkor’s destructive strategy to create a false narrative,” said Bernard Mostert, one of the founding members of Mr Tekkie.
“We believe Braam van Huyssteen’s decision to back a broad group of South Africans to start a business and invest R500 million into a new venture is a positive story at a time when South Africans are faced with worsening economic news on a daily basis. Mr Tekkie was conceptualised, designed and is focused on delivering a unique South African retail experience.
“In addition, Mr Tekkie was registered, operated and licensed long before the birth of our former business, Tekkie Town, which landed up with Pepkor under controversial circumstances,” said Mostert.
He said that the management of the new Mr Tekkie are looking forward to being part of South Africans’ daily lives and are optimistic that they will gain people’s support, trust and ongoing loyalty by offering through an exciting and unique retail offering and excellent service.
Mostert also confirmed that several of Mr Tekkie’s suppliers and landlords have received letters from Pepkor cautioning the suppliers and owners of shopping centres about dealing with or interacting with Mr Tekkie.
“These letters create the impression of successful legal action regarding restraints of trade against Mr Tekkie founders. We view this behaviour as uncompetitive and will refer it to South Africa’s Competition Commission. We will also challenge it legally.
“It is regrettable that a business with the once-respected history of Pepkor would revert to tactics that we interpret as intimidating and anti-competitive. Mr. Tekkie and its stakeholders – including suppliers and landlords – welcome the chance to create more economic opportunities and contribute towards a growing economy. We will oppose any action that prevents us from exercising that legal right.” said Mostert.
– BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE