Court Says Ex-Vodacom Staff Must Comply With Restraint Agreements

Tuum Communications was, allegedly, created by MTN to facilitate the poaching of high-priority staff and corporate customers from Vodacom.

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DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 09, 2016: Young girl walks past two Vodacom beach chairs on the beach in Umhlanga Rocks
DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 09, 2016: Young girl walks past two Vodacom beach chairs on the beach in Umhlanga Rocks (Photo Credit: www.shutterstock.com)

The South African Labour Court issued an order with the consent of ex-Vodacom employees to enforce their restraints, thereby precluding them from working with MTN SA, the Vodafone-owned mobile phone operator said on Friday.

The company added that this order follows reports of Vodacom staff and its clients being poached by MTN.

Vodacom was forced to bring an application in terms of which it requested the court to find that by being employees of Tuum Communications, which would be an exclusive service provider to MTN, the former employees of Vodacom were acting in breach of their restraint of trade agreements with Vodacom.

The operator sought an order that Vodacom’s restraints are binding and enforceable in these circumstances given that Vodacom can take the necessary steps to protect its proprietary interests.

It appears that through the employment of ex-Vodacom employees in a business called Tuum Communications an attempt was made to circumvent the enforcement of their restraints, Vodacom said.

Tuum Communications was, allegedly, created by MTN to facilitate the poaching of high-priority staff and corporate customers from Vodacom.

“We were compelled to bring an application in the Labour Court to enforce the restraints against each of these ex-employees,” Vodacom Business spokesperson said in a statement on Friday.

“The ex-employees have eventually consented to the relief that Vodacom sought in the application having forced Vodacom to bring the application to the Labour Court.”

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