We are waiting to pay Makate a “substantial amount” – Vodacom

Vodacom’s head of Legal and Regulatory Affairs, Nkateko Nyoka, has stated that Vodacom is waiting to pay Nkosana Makate.

Makate is owed compensation from Vodacom for his involvement in the rolling out of the Please Call Me service, as ordered by the Constitutional Court.

In a column written by Nyoka, Vodacom is described as “willing to pay Mr Makate, soonest”.

“By all accounts, it is a significant amount of money and a windfall for Mr Makate,” said Nyoka of the payment.

“Given the confidentiality agreement signed with Mr Makate, we are constrained from sharing any information on the negotiations,” he added.

The statement from Nyoka comes as Vodacom faces a continued onslaught from politicians and a lobby group to reach a mutually-agreed settlement in the Please Call Me matter.

Vodacom said earlier this month that its CEO had determined the amount of reasonable compensation payable to Makate, but Makate responded – stating he has not agreed to anything and that “the amount that the CEO has determined is shocking and an insult”.

Vodacom explained that the Constitutional Court order which ordered it to pay Makate does not require him to agree to the amount set by their CEO, and it considers the matter closed.

Makate’s funds will be transferred as soon as they have his banking details, added Vodacom.

Politicians get involved

This explanation was not good enough for local politicians, however, and communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams told Vodacom to “just shut up” as a result.

She said Vodacom should not “talk to us until you have reached a settlement with [Makate’s] team”.

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi also weighed in, and said people must stand by “Nkosana ‘Please Call Me’ Makate” against “this bully called Vodacom”.

The Saturday Star quoted Lesufi as saying that “Vodacom should not ignore us” and “if they haven’t resolved the issue by 31 January” he will ensure pressure is put on Vodacom.

Adding to Vodacom’s problems is the formation of the “PleaseCallMe Movement”, headed by Modise Sekgothe.

It is threatening to shut down Vodacom on 31 January if a settlement has not been reached.

The movement, which claims to be against corporate bullying and consumer injustice, said Vodacom owes Makate R70 billion for his Please Call Me idea.

“Join us as we will be shutting down Vodaworld in pursuit of justice for Nkosana Makate,” their flyer reads.

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We are waiting to pay Makate a “substantial amount” – Vodacom