Vodacom fights back in Please Call Me battle

Vodacom has applied for leave to appeal against the 30 June Pretoria High Court ruling which requires it to submit extensive information to Kenneth Makate.

The court said Vodacom must do this within 21 days of its ruling so that Makate can determine how much he should be paid for the Please Call Me idea he claims to have generated.

Makate is fighting back against the R49 million offered by Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub for the Please Call Me idea.

Makate believes he deserves much more than this amount and has previously suggested a payout of R20 billion as a more realistic proposition.

“Vodacom confirms that it has applied for leave to appeal Justice Kollapen’s judgment relating to the supplementary record and further and better discovery of documentation in the Please Call Me matter,” Vodacom told MyBroadband.

“Mr Makate’s case before Justice Kollapen is not about the reasonableness of the quantum of the compensation payable to him.”

“Our position on the matter is consistent in that we have repeatedly stated our willingness to pay Mr Makate a substantial amount,” the network said.

Vodacom said it still holds the view that it negotiated with Mr Makate and his team in good faith.

Vodacom’s argument

Kollapen ruled that while Vodacom may no longer have the original raw data relating to calls, it is still possible to determine the revenue earned over the period.

He also determined that several documents sought by Makate had not featured in Joosub’s original determination when calculating the R47-million payout to Makate.

Vodacom is contesting that the only data on Please Call Me revenue that it still has is accessible within its financial statements for the period spanning 2001 to 2018.

“The learned judge should have found that the applicant’s [Vodacom’s] assertions under oath that the figures supplied to the second respondent [Makate] … constituted aggregated, audited figures and were therefore not open to challenge and could not be gainsaid,” Vodacom said in its appeal.

“The learned judge should have found that the applicant [Vodacom] was no longer possessed of the raw data underlying the voice revenue figures appearing in an aggregated manner in their annual financial statements for the years 2001 to 2018 and could therefore not produce same.”

No clear model for this case

“It warrants mention that there is no recognised model for the determination of compensation in instances such as these,” said Kollapen in his original ruling.

“The second respondent took the position that the order of the Constitutional Court makes allowance for a variety of models including specifically an employee remuneration model by reference to best international practice.”

“The applicant, on the other hand, was of the view that the order of the Court required that the compensation made to him should be assessed by calculating a share of the actual revenue generated by the Please Call Me idea,” Kollapen said.

Kollapen said that the contest over the appropriate modelling structure of the payout is set to continue until the parties meet in the review court.

“There accordingly can be little argument that in general documents and information that go to the proper determination of the various components of the calculation of compensation would be relevant to what has been described as a reasonably anticipated issue,” said Kollapen.

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Vodacom fights back in Please Call Me battle