Vodacom Please Call Me fight takes nasty turn

The fight over the potential R10.5-billion Vodacom Please Call Me payout has taken another negative turn, with the senior advocate appointed to oversee the fight between the service’s inventor and his legal funders now the subject of a High Court application.

Michael Mabena SC was appointed by the chairperson of the Pretoria Bar Council to oversee the dispute between Please Call me “inventor” Nkosana Makate and the funders of his case against Vodacom.

“The parties are embroiled in an ongoing dispute over whether Makate had validly cancelling his funding agreement involving the Sterling Rand, Raining Men Trade, and businessman Chris Schoeman,” reported the Mail & Guardian.

Schoeman launched the court bid, with the aim of setting aside Mabena’s appointment – citing a lack of experience.

Schoeman previously filed an application to interdict Makate’s lawyers from representing him in payout negotiations with Vodacom that were ordered by the Constitutional Court.

He said Makate cancelled an agreement with the funders of his legal battle against Vodacom.

The Pretoria Bar Council said it would not oppose Schoeman’s application.

“Schoeman, who previously claimed he virtually emptied his bank account when he took up Makate’s case in 2011, facilitated additional funding through Sterling Rand while Raining Men Trade was then allegedly installed as the nominated company to handle the case.”

Makate’s lawyers said the funders failed to make payments to cover Makate’s case, invalidating the funding agreement, stated the report.

The High Court in Pretoria previously ruled that 50% of Makate’s payout be kept in a trust of his attorneys’ account until all matters are resolved.

More on the Please Call Me case

Please Call Me inventor and financial backers fight over Vodacom payout

Vodacom Please Call Me negotiations may be delayed

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Vodacom Please Call Me fight takes nasty turn