Vodacom changes stance on Please Call Me ruling

Vodacom has taken a new stance on the Please Call Me judgement made by Justice Kollapen on 1 July 2020.

Kollapen ordered that Vodacom must provide Nkosana Makate with past financial documents that could help him calculate how much he believes he is owed for the Please Call Me idea.

The mobile network had previously filed for leave to appeal the judgement, but it believes that the nature of the judgement means an appeal may not be possible.

“[Vodacom] would have appealed this order as being impractical and bad in law, but for the advice furnished that this part of the order may not be appealable because of its interlocutory nature,” said Vodacom’s chief officer for legal, compliance and risk Nkateko Nyoka in an affidavit.

It said that because it is unable to appeal the judgement, it is requesting that Justice Kollapen amend the order.

Vodacom wants Kollapen’s judgement to be changed to require that the network provide Makate with the necessary data “only to the extent to which it has in its possession.”

In response, Makate told The Star that he was working with his lawyers to develop a response to Vodacom’s affidavit.

“The indication is that we’re going to oppose. This would be on grounds that Vodacom should not be allowed to hide financial records and key contracts,” said Makate.

Kollapen’s judgement

On 1 July, the North Gauteng High Court ordered Vodacom to provide Makate with the necessary information to help him calculate how much he believes the network should pay him for the Please Call Me idea.

Kollapen agreed with Makate’s argument that while Vodacom may no longer have the original raw data relating to calls, it is still possible to determine the voice revenue over the period.

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

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

“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 since this dispute would likely continue until the parties meet in the review court, it is important that Makate have the necessary information to calculate the amount he would be owed should his position be accepted by the review court.

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Vodacom changes stance on Please Call Me ruling