Vodacom’s long-running legal battle with the man behind the ‘Please Call Me’ idea took a turn yesterday after The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in South Africa dismissed an appeal made by the telecommunications giant and ruled in favour of Nkosana Makate.
“This Court found that the aforementioned must be considered in the context of the duration of the agreement between Makate and the applicant,” the SCA said.
“This Court emphasised that it would have been an eminently un-businesslike and an unreasonable decision by the CEO not to have extended the contract it made with Makate. As such, this Court determined that the valuation was flawed and inequitable,” the SCA further stated.
Initially, Vodacom offered Makate a payout of R47 million, however, his legal team rejected this offer.
After various court battles, the case ended up at the SCA and yesterday, it ordered that Vodacom, must use the models Makate’s team submitted to calculate the monies owed.
With this model, Makate’s legal team calculated that based on a 5% share of an estimated R205 billion in revenue over 18 years equates to R20 billion in compensation.
This is double what Vodacom invests in its South African network every year in the form of capital expenditure.
Vodacom on Thursday released a statement on the JSE news service, SENS.
The company said, “Vodacom notes the judgment of the SCA which was handed down on 6 February 2024. The judgment of the Supreme Court dismissed Vodacom's appeal. Vodacom is surprised and disappointed with the judgment and will bring an application for leave to appeal before the Constitutional Court of South Africa ("Constitutional Court"), within the prescribed period.”