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Vodacom Files Leave To Appeal Application In Constitutional Court For “Please Call Me” Case

In 2016, the Constitutional Court ruled that Vodacom was bound by an agreement Makate had with the company's then director of product development.

Vodacom, the cellphone giant, has filed a leave to appeal application in the Constitutional Court against the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) judgment in the “Please Call Me” matter.

This comes weeks after the SCA ordered Vodacom to make a fresh determination within 30 days to compensate Nkosana Makate for his invention, as it set aside the R47m offer he rejected in January 2019.

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Vodacom, as a responsible corporate citizen, respects the judicial system and abides by the laws of South Africa.

However, the company believes that there are key aspects of this matter which do not align with the spirit of the law and that the SCA judgment and order are fundamentally flawed.

The company argues that the SCA’s order impinges on the rule of law and deprives Vodacom of its right to a fair trial. Vodacom also claims that the court misdirected itself by considering and deciding on issues that were not presented for adjudication by either party.

Furthermore, Vodacom asserts that the SCA selectively chose to only consider Makate’s evidence, ignoring significant evidence presented by Vodacom contesting Makate’s version. Lastly, Vodacom argues that the SCA orders are unintelligible, incomprehensible, and vague, making them impossible to implement and enforce.

Vodacom emphasizes that the impact of the SCA judgment, if upheld, would be significant not only for the company but also for the attractiveness of South Africa as an investment destination.

It would have negative consequences for employees, shareholders, and Vodacom’s contribution to public finances, as well as network investment, coverage, and social programs.

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Despite the legal dispute, Vodacom remains open to constructive dialogue and good faith negotiations to reach a fair and reasonable amount as compensation for Makate. The company had previously attempted to negotiate with Makate, but these efforts have so far been unsuccessful.

In 2016, the Constitutional Court ruled that Vodacom was bound by an agreement Makate had with the company’s then director of product development.

The court ordered Vodacom to initiate negotiations with Makate for a reasonable payout to compensate him. Initially, Makate demanded 15% of the “Please Call Me” proceeds.

The outcome of this appeal will have significant implications not only for Vodacom and Makate but also for the legal landscape surrounding intellectual property rights and fair compensation in South Africa.

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Florence Sibiya for SurgeZirc SA
Florence Sibiya for SurgeZirc SA
Florence Sibiya is a highly dedicated and talented reporter for SurgeZirc SA Business News. With her passion for business and her commitment to delivering accurate and reliable news, she has become an invaluable asset to the team.
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