The inventor of Vodacom’s “Please Call Me” offering, Nkosana Makate, is back in court in the week for a review hearing of the R47 million in compensation for arising with the concept. the quantity offered was calculated by Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub. Makate isn’t satisfied and is demanding billions from the cellular giant.
The Gauteng supreme court in Pretoria will hear from each side over three days, hopefully reaching a conclusion to the 20-year-old saga.
On day one, Makate’s legal team presented possible remedies to the presiding judge, Judge Wendy Hughes.
Gilbert Marcus, SC, representing Makate, said that they had received the conclusion that substitution would be a suitable remedy.
Marcus told Fin24 that this is able to mean the court would ultimately be the choice maker when it came to determining the compensation amount, and not Joosub.
“So rather than sending the matter back to the CEO for a replacement determination, we are asking that the court make the determination,” Marcus explained.
A substitution order is usually granted in exceptional circumstances.
In court, Marcus said: “Our attempts to influence your ladyship to offer a remedy of substitution is outstanding and that we think the test of outstanding circumstances is met during this case.”
Marcus said there have been three points which make Makate’s circumstance exceptional. the primary being the “sheer history, duration of the matter and therefore the need for the interest be delivered to finality”; secondly, the “conflict of interest that arises when one party enjoys decision-making power”; and thirdly, “the manner during which Vodacom and therefore the CEO have conducted themselves in these very proceedings”.
“The history is an unfortunate history, and therefore the saga has now been happening for quite 20 years and what we see at every turn including in these proceedings is an unstinting endeavour by Vodacom either to deprive Mr Makate as they did at trial to any entitlement in the least , or as we saw within the negotiations with the CEO, to go away him with absolutely the minimum possible,” said Marcus chatting with the primary point.
In 2016, the Constitutional Court made a ruling where Vodacom was ordered to enter into negotiations with Makate to seek out a good compensation. Joosub offered Makate the R47 million, but Makate is accusing the corporate of not being fully transparent in its negotiations with him. Further, he said the compensation offered wasn’t enough. he’s demanding quite R10 billion.
“Secondly, where one among the parties enjoys decision-making power, there’s an inevitable conflict of interest then it’s with the CEO during this particular case. And while we accept that that conflict of interest may be a consequence of the perhaps naive deal which Mr Makate struck with Vodacom.
‘Inappropriate’ to let Joosub decide
“Thirdly, is that the manner during which Vodacom and therefore the CEO have conducted themselves in these very proceedings. We submit that it might be inappropriate to send this matter back to the very one that has shown this level of determination to defend the indefensible. For that we submit respectfully that substitution is acceptable ,” said Marcus.
“If the matter is remitted, then your ladyship would do so with very strict guidelines on the way during which the CEO is required to exercise his powers. for instance , the duration that Mr Makate is entitled to an inexpensive remuneration is eighteen years that he’s entitled to interest. the right thing to try to to would be to offer the CEO guidelines,” said Marcus.
It was agreed that Makate was owed 5% of the proceeds generated from his invention, the present disagreement lies in what constitutes revenue generated from the invention. The day’s session ended with Vodacom trying to elucidate how the invention generated no revenue.
The hearing continues for 2 more days until Thursday.