UPDATE: Not so fast, Mr. Tekkie, says Pepkor

Mr. Tekkie's founders are "elated" that Pepkor - formerly Steinhoff Africa Retail -  failed in its attempt to seek restraint of trade provisions against Mr. Tekkie's founders, they said in a statement on Wednesday.

But Pepkor, for its part, maintains it emerged victorious from the court battle. 

Pepkor, formerly known as Steinhoff Africa Retail, wanted to restrain Tekkie Town founder Braam van Huyssteen, Bernard Mostert, Dawie van Niekerk, Gert Claassens and Michael Brown from involvement in retail after they founded rival retailer Mr. Tekkie.

Judge Elizabeth Baartman found that the respondents "should not be hampered in their economic activity beyond the effective date [of October 1, 2016]".

But, the judgment added, Mr. Tekkie was interdicted from selling similar footwear to those sold by Tekkie Town.

"The founders of Mr. Tekkie are elated to announce that Steinhoff-controlled Pepkor failed in their application seeking to kill the start-up business by restraining five of Mr. Tekkie’s founders from any involvement in retail," the Mr. Tekkie respondents said in a statement on Wednesday.

But Pepkor said: "The court order confirms that Pepkor has demonstrated a valid right in terms of the restraints of trade. It further provides the necessary and justified interim protection for the Tekkie Town business while the dispute is referred to trial."

Mr. Tekkie’s doors will remain open and the start-up company will continue to serve South Africans, the respondents said.

Meanwhile, Pepkor said the court order serves to protect the Tekkie Town business "while further action is taken to enforce Pepkor’s legal rights against Mr Tekkie in court". A summons has already been served on Mr Tekkie’s attorneys, Pepkor added. 

* This story has been updated at 17:32 to reflect Pepkor's comment.

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