Andy Openshaw, MD at Nashua Communications has defended JSE-listed ICT company Reunert’s court record against start-up AppChat, saying that the company is “comfortable” with its case against founder John Holdsworth.
It follows accusations that Reunert misled the court in the ongoing case, and acted fraudulently.
Nashua Communications is a whole owned subsidiary of Reunert, having merged with Nashua ECN in September 2012.
Reunert originally brought an application in March 2012, in which it sought to enforce a contractual restraint of trade against Holdsworth and obtain interdicts preventing Holdsworth and AppChat from ever competing against it.
The case was founded on an allegation by Reunert that AppChat was intending to directly compete with a mobile VoIP application that Nashua ECN were developing and had planned to launch imminently.
Holdsworth was the founder and CEO of ECN (Nashua), a provider of IP-based next generation network services. He sold that business to Reunert in July 2011.
He denied Reunert’s allegations, claiming that ECN had never traded in the mobile market and that its entire business was in the fixed line market.
Holdsworth was granted leave to appeal following a ruling delivered in the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein on 25 January.
On Wednesday (27 February 2012), Holdsworth claimed he has documented evidence which proves that Reunert misled the court.
He calims that Reunert had not budgeted either for income or expenditure on its alleged mobile VoIP application and did not have any intention of developing a mobile VoIP application or launching a mobile VoIP service.
Nashua’s Openshaw said that the SCA’s decision was not a shock to the company. “We had expected it to happen,” he said.
“We have had lots of mud flung at us recently,” Openshaw said, adding that the company did not want to get itself involved in that kind of behaviour, instead leaving it up to court procedure to argue its case.
“We are very comfortable with our case. All previous accusations have been proven wrong by the court,” Openshaw said, adding that he expected the same outcome in future.
Reunert pointed out that in four previous visits to the North Gauteng High Court had seen the company prevail, with costs.
Openshaw also pointed out that restrictions currently placed on AppChat “are still in place”.
The case will now move forward to a full Bench of the North Gauteng High Court.