Please Call Me inventor Nkosana Makate in first-round win over funders
Pretoria - Please Call Me inventor Nkosana Makate has scored a first-round victory over his former funders who are bidding to enter the legal battle in which he is asking the court to review and set aside the R47million granted to him by Vodacom for his invention.
Makate turned to the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, and asked that Raining Men Trade first set security for legal costs in the pending review application. Makate asked that Raining Men Trade, which is under business rescue, issue R350 000 security for legal costs - in the event that the company is issued a cost order - or any other amount the registrar of the court directs.
Makate indicated to Judge Jody Kollapen that he would in any case oppose Raining Men Trade’s application to join the review proceedings.
The company claimed it had an interest in the review proceedings because it financed Makate’s litigation against Vodacom in the high court.
Makate said Raining Men Trade had no interest in his review proceedings. There has been a long history of litigation between Makate and Vodacom, which reached the Constitutional Court.
The court ruled in 2016 in favour of Makate, a former Vodacom employee.
It said he was entitled to be compensated for his invention.
Vodacom and its chief executive, Shameel Joosub, only granted him R47m.
Judge Kollapen earlier ordered that Vodacom hand copies of several contractual documents to him which it used in determining the compensation.
He must, among others, receive copies of all underlying data and financial information for the period 2001 to 2018, which Vodacom used when it determined what was owed to Makate.
The documents include financial statements and copies of contracts the cellphone giant concluded with other service providers to see what they had learnt from Makate’s invention.
Raining Men Trade said it had an interest in the outcome of the pending review arising from the funding agreement between it and Makate.
But Makate said due to a breach, the funding agreement was cancelled in 2015 and the company did not have any interest in his review application.
He said some of the signatures on the nomination agreement with Raining Men Trade were false and not his.
The matter went to arbitration where the finding was that the contested signatures were not Makate’s.
This issue is still ongoing as Raining Men Trade is planning on taking the arbitration ruling on review.
Judge Kollapen said Raining Men Trade’s interest in the upcoming Makate review application weighed heavily against the funding company.
He said the review proceedings were contractual in nature with the focus on how Vodacom came to the amount of R47m.
He said it was inconceivable what interest Raining Men Trade would have in the review proceedings. Judge Kollapen said there were already two costs orders against the company for past legal expenses it could not pay.