The Vodacom Please Call Me legal battle in which the self-proclaimed inventor Nkosana Makate will receive compensation from the cellular giant is getting messy.
According to an article in the Rapport, many financiers of his legal battle with Vodacom now want their share of the money which he will receive.
The article states that Makate does not want to share 50% of his compensation from Vodacom with the initial investors who paid the first R2 million in legal fees.
The initial investors were cut out of the deal when their money dried up, and Makate employed new legal counsel in January 2015.
However, when it looked like Makate could win – in September 2015 – the initial investors showed interest in the case again and opened a dispute with Makate with an arbiter.
This case is still pending with the arbiter, and after a short legal battle over legal representation it was agreed that the case could continue, but that any reward would be paid into a trust account pending the outcome of the arbitration.
The battle has now taken another turn, with Makate arguing that he cancelled his agreement with the initial investors when he got new lawyers.
He further alleges that his signature was forged in one of the legal documents with these investors.
No money yet
The legal battles and fighting comes before Vodacom and Makate have agreed on how much compensation he will receive.
Vodacom was ordered to compensate Makate for his role in the creation of the Please Call Me service by the Constitutional Court in 2016.
Since then the two parties have been negotiating, but a final settlement has not been reached yet.
According to Vodacom, an impasse has been reached in the negotiations and that the case is now before Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub.
Joosub said in August that the two parties will make oral representations regarding their cases, after which he will make a call.
To date, Joosub was isolated from the negotiation as per the Constitutional Court ruling in 2016.
In the interim, a gag order has been obtained which prohibits the two parties from disclosing details about the negotiations.
It is not clear whether the final settlement will be made public. Joosub said it will depend on the settlement agreement between the two parties.