In another win for ‘Please Call Me’ inventor Nkosana Makate, Vodacom has been ordered to hand over financial records and other value added services contracts it had with other service providers, so as to help determine the value of the revolutionary idea. The mobile operator has been given 21 days to avail the aforementioned documents to Makate.
Vodacom had claimed that Makate’s idea was worth R47 million – a far cry from the R20 billion he claimed was the true value. Makate subsequently approached the courts, seeking to have CEO Shameel Joosub disclose the documents they relied on to conclude R47 million was the money due to him for the idea.
“There are three independent bases for the demand for the relevant information. I have been advised and respectfully submit that each basis which I rely [on], serves to support a range of principles which are regarded as integral part of the demands of fairness in litigation and the capacity of our courts to dispense justice,” Makate said in his affidavit.
“No legitimate basis for the refusal of this information has been furnished”
On Monday, 29 June 2020, the high court in Pretoria also ruled that Vodacom hand over a KPMG report to Makate – putting that part of the entire legal row to bed, more than ten years since he launched his bid to access it.
The compilation of the KPMG report was at the request of Vodacom shareholders, who had also asked for an investigation into intellectual property matters within the company.
According to several news reports, a number of paragraphs within the report will assist the current negotiations process between Makate and Vodacom to finally reach a settlement and close the chapter on the two-decade-long case.
Makate apologises for CEO
The ruling was made on the same day Makate apologised to Joosub, after he retweeted a cartoon depicting Joosub with his knee on Makate’s neck. The image is in reference to George Floyd, a US black man who died when a police officer pressed his knee against his neck for almost nine minutes. The incident sparked a wave of anti-racism demonstrations across the world.
In a letter he posted on his Twitter account, Makate said the retweet was borne out of his frustration concerning his perception of the failure by Vodacom to settle his claim fairly.