DJ Euphonik talks about his new album at the 5FM studios at the SABC in Auckland Park, Joburg.Picture: Jennifer Bruce
DJ Euphonik and global media and talent group Celebrity Services Africa (CSA) are squaring off in the Cape High Court over the disc jockey’s Facebook account.

The DJ, whose real name is Themba Mbongeni Nkosi, is claiming in court papers that CAS has unlawfully deprived him of his possession of the Facebook page and unpublished it, and is demanding the agency “restore the applicant’s administrative rights to the page known as Euphonik DJ”.

He is also demanding that CAS “restore any deleted content, which content was present on the Facebook page prior to March 25, 2018”.

Other demands include interdicting CAS from directly or indirectly “removing or interfering with the applicant’s access and administrative rights to the Facebook page, unpublishing the Facebook page, deleting/removing or otherwise interfering or tampering with the content (published or otherwise) on the Facebook page, the costs of the application to be paid by the respondent and further and/or alternative relief”.

The drama began on March25 when Euphonik was in the US and realised he was unable to access his page and 600000 followers, after, he said, CAS removed him as co-administrator of the page.

With headquarters in Cape Town and Beverly Hills, and affiliated offices in Lagos and Paris, CAS has established itself as one of Africa’s leading talent representation and influencer marketing agencies with clients including Bonang Matheba and Boity Thulo.

In his founding affidavit, Euphonik claims: “I was until March 25, 2018 in peaceful and undisturbed possession of the Facebook page and the respondent has wrongfully and unlawfully deprived me of such possession”.

Euphonik and CAS entered into an Artist Agent Agreement on October 26 where CAS was required to represent him as his agent in the entertainment industry and the agreement was to remain in place until October 15, 2017.

CAS would be entitled to 20% of all gross earnings for musical performances in SA, 30% of international performances and 30% of all brand and commercial endorsements.

He is adamant that the Facebook page was never the property of CAS and that the agency at the end of 2016, without his permission or consent, transferred ownership of the page into its name.

“The reason given was that it required ownership of the account for purposes of marketing myself/my global brand. I have subsequently established that this was a material misrepresentation and patently untrue,” said Euphonik in his affidavit before court.

The relationship between the parties started to sour in April 2017 and has been described in court papers as a result of “a breakdown in the business relationship due to various failures by the respondent (CAS) to comply with its obligations”.

The agreement was terminated on June 5, 2017.

Euphonik has been trying to regain possession of his Facebook page since April 26, 2017.

“I am a brand ambassador and generate substantial revenue through marketing campaigns utilising my social media platforms and more specifically the Facebook page, thus unpublishing the Facebook page has deprived my business and access to my 600000 followers and the general public as well as their access to me,” he added.

The attorney for CAS, Charl Coetzee, told Weekend Argus that Euphonik owed the agency R12 million and that there was a breach of agreement which set off the deactivation of the Facebook page.

Coetzee also claimed that Euphonik owed the company for work done on the Facebook page for which he said CAS had not been remunerated.

“We have been trying since 2017 to settle the matter and now it has finally ended up in court,” he said.

Euphonik’s attorney, Lee Binneman, from Schindlers Attorneys, disputes the payment claims, saying the initial agreement between Euphonik and CAS made no provision for payment in respect of work performed by the agency on the Facebook page. It was also indicated that the agency had not performed any material work or improvements on the page and was therefore not entitled to take possession of it.

It is Euphonik’s contention that CSA have used the removal of his administrative rights to persuade him into making payment of a debt that is clearly disputed.

According to the court papers, the DJ stresses that his Facebook page was “verified”, a status only given when you reach a certain number of followers and are a recognisable figure in a certain industry.

Binneman says a ruling expected in the next week or two.