Koketso MathebulaThey/themSenior Associate
Koketso's areas of practice includes dispute resolution, covering both litigation and arbitration, and regulatory advisory, focussing on general commercial work and varied contractual disputes with a keen focus on franchisor-franchisee issues, shareholder matters, recovery of debts and perfection of securities, director disputes including BBB-EE fronting practices, insurance, consumer law and certain areas of competition. He acts for clients in the consumer goods and retail sectors, financial services, mining, energy and natural resources, telecommunications and real estate.
Koketso is also the Pro Bono Coordinator of the Johannesburg office.
Koketso was part of the African regional winners of the 2015, World Trade Organization - International Trade Law Moot Court Competition. He was also nominated best orator in the 4th Annual Child Law Moot Court Competition.
- Acting for a multinational retailer in numerous varied urgent court proceedings relating to perfecting securities, protection of its business and commercial interests by securing varied urgent relief. In addition, acting for the retailer in arbitration proceedings and court proceedings pertaining to the cancellation of various franchise agreements for breach, exercise of pre-emptive right, recovery of large debts including representation in a complex dispute in respect of the retailer’s entire Botswanan footprint. To date, I have successfully secured in excess of 14 perfection orders on an urgent basis across various High Court divisions including during Covid-19 stringent court directives, for your convenience please consider an example of one of such successful judgments relating to the urgent relief for perfection of security - Pick n Pay Retailers Proprietary Limited v Salestalk 553 Proprietary Limited (2095/2019).
- Acting for a multi-national restaurant franchisor in various commercial and franchisor-franchisee disputes including compliance with the franchise agreement, sale of franchisee business and exercise of pre-emptive right, considerations such as whether the franchisor has exercised its discretion reasonably, in good faith and arbitrium boni viri. In addition, advice relating to consumers having lodged complaints against the franchisor in respect of goods provided and food safety at the KFC franchised and equity-owned stores, in relation to issues arising in terms of the Consumer Protection Act and possible delictual claims.
- Acting for a large mining company in appeal proceedings in the Supreme Court of Appeal and Full bench of the Superior Court (Reported Judgment - Mnisi and Others v Barberton Mines Proprietary Ltd and Another (2495/19)  ZAMPMBHC 2) and (Mnisi and Others v Barberton Mines Proprietary Ltd and Another (A118/2019) – unreported judgment. The appeals relate to the court’s exercise of discretion in urgent applications and issues relating to coercive orders.
- Acting for the Government Employees Pension Fund on instruction of the Public Investment Corporation, as plaintiff, in complex litigation relating to the recovery of arrear rental in the sum total of R144 million and an alternative claim for unjustified enrichment for R232 million against the South African Broadcasting Corporation and the Provincial Government: North West Province, Minister of Finance and other government departments. The material issues in dispute related largely to the interpretation and application of the Constitutional transition provisions and the complicated legislative, regulatory and policy framework intended to ensure the proper transition from the apartheid government to the democratic government and the transfer of state owned businesses from the old government entities to the new government entities and the legal implications of a guarantee granted by the Department of National Treasure at the time (Awaiting Judgment - Government Employees Pension Fund v South African Broadcasting Corporation and Others (2951/05)).
- Acting for Vodacom (Pty) Ltd in review proceedings in respect of an award for tender and proceedings relating to a complex network porting dispute court proceedings. Firstly, as an intervenor, in an urgent application brought by Transnet (Pty) Ltd against MTN (Pty) Ltd relating to a contested award of a tender by Transnet to Vodacom and the enforcement of an order by Independent Communications Authority of South Africa to port Transnet’s cellphone numbers from the MTN network to the Vodacom network. Secondly, as second respondent, in the review application by MTN in respect of a tender award granted in favour of Vodacom by Transnet and the subsequent appeal of the judgment of the court a quo. Lastly, as applicant, in an application in terms section 18(1) of the Superior Courts Act for relief directing the immediate implementation of the judgment and order in the principal review application, pending application for leave to appeal by MTN (One of the reported judgments Mobile Telephone Network(Pty) Ltd v Vodacom (Pty) Limited and Another (A5074/2018, 25771/2018)  ZAGPJHC 102 (26 March 2019)).
- Acting for large mining companies, as applicants, in various urgent proceedings for interdictory relief against unlawful protest actions by community members at the mining operations causing damage in excess of R20 million per shift. Including representation of other large mining companies in respect of the pursuit and defending litigation in respect of complex mining rights disputes; water use licenses; prospecting rights and administrative law action against Government Departments pursuant to their duties in applicable legislation.
- Representing and advising a major business bank in respect of the most effective realisation and exercise of its security poll comprising special notarial bonds, guarantees and promissory notes in a complex debt restructuring transaction and potential liquidation involving a major South African telecommunication company.
- Representing and advising a major hospitality and casino company in commercial dispute resolution matters relating to shareholders rights; directors rights and duties; property law issues, management of community issues; BBBEE and empowerment; communal property associations and regulatory issues in respect of the gambling statutory framework and administrative law matters pertaining to casino licences.
- Acting for BBBEE minority shareholder and certain directors in various shareholder and director disputes pertaining to mining operations wherein they hold an interest, including, inter alia, contentions of fronting practices. In addition, acting for another BBBEE shareholder and director in a contractual dispute relating to the recovery of unpaid royalties in excess of R53 million and other corporate governance issues, including, inter alia, allegations of fronting practices.
- Acting for and advising a multi-national steel manufacturing corporation in relation to various litigation proceedings in South Africa and Luxembourg against competitors for theft of commercially sensitive information and preparing a complaint for blacklisting fraudulent competitors for filing with state-owned company and the Department of National Treasury including varied advice to client on administrative law actions against the state-owned company and the Department of National Treasury.
- University of Pretoria, BA Law (Criminology and Psychology) 2014, LLB, 2016
Prior to joining DLA Piper, Koketso practised for two other top tier law firms, a global firm where he specialised in insurance litigation acting and advising in long-term and short-term insurance focusing on quantification of claims, liability assessment of claims, handling medical malpractice lawsuits, unlawful arrest and detention lawsuits and personal injury claims, and the largest law firm in Africa where he focussed on commercial dispute resolution and litigation.
Prior to commencing practice, Koketso worked as a Pro Bono Legal Advisor at the University of Pretoria Law Clinic, primarily providing legal advice and representation to indigent members of the community in varied contentious disputes including without limitation, spousal and child maintenance claims, divorce matters, rental housing disputes, property law issues and other contractual disputes.
Memberships And Affiliations
- Member of the Golden Key International Honour Society (2012 to date)
- Member of the International Chamber of Commerce Young Arbitrators Forum