“Please call me” inventor back in court after rejecting KSh 345 million from Vodacom.
We know what you’re thinking, take the money and go but then Mr. Nkosana Makate has refused to negotiate with Vodacom after they offered KSh 345 million. Instead Nkosana has moved the negotiation to court at the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria will hear both sides sides over three days, hopefully reaching a conclusion to the 20-year-old saga.
Vodacom CEO Shameel Josub wanted to settle outside court however Makate’s advocate Gilbert Marcus arrived at the conclusion that substitution would be an acceptable remedy.
“So instead of sending the matter back to the CEO for a new determination, we are asking that the court make the determination.”
Is this exceptional enough?
Apart from the fact that the case has taken 20 long years Marcus also argued that there was an obvious conflict of interest that arose when one party was enjoying more decision-making benefits and thirdly “the manner in which Vodacom and CEO have conducted themselves in these very proceedings =.”
So what will the court do?
The court is asked to review the compensation offered to him as calculated by Vodacom chief executive Shameel Joosub.
This followed a ruling by the Constitutional Court in 2016 in which Vodacom was ordered to enter into negotiations with Makate to find fair compensation.
Advocate Gilbert Marcus, who kicked off the legal battle on behalf of Makate, said he did not use the word “betrayal” lightly, but this was such a case. He said that while Vodacom was raking in huge profits from the invention and was “smiling all the way to the bank”, they left “no smile on Makate’s face”.
Vodacom failed to compensate Makate for his idea.
While it was all around agreed that Makate was owed 5% of the proceeds generated from his invention, the disagreement lied in what constitutes revenue generated from the invention. This is an accounting exercise, his legal team told the court, and one which they submitted Vodacom got wrong.
“Makate was promised compensation. It is a common cause that Vodacom has earned billions of rand from Mr Makate’s idea. Despite the product being such an overwhelming success, Vodacom refused to negotiate compensation for the use of the idea,”
The Makate camp told Judge Hughes that the R47m compensation set by Vodacom should be replaced by at least nearly R10bn without interest.
What’s Vodacom’s argument?
According to them, this court should determine the compensation due to him, given the calculations forwarded to the court by Makate’s team.
This, they said, would avoid further delay finalising this legal process that has taken the best part of a decade.
Vodacom, who is opposing the review application, said in its opposing papers: “As long as Mr Joosub (the chief executive) arrived at his decision honestly and in good faith, there is no basis upon which a court may interfere.”
Vodacom is expected to present its arguments today as well as provide the basis for their calculations on which it relied in determining that Makate was only owed KSh 75 billion compensation.