Eusebius: 'ConCourt messed up, Vodacom's group CEO cannot be an honest broker'

The legal battle continues between Vodacom and its former employee Nkosana Makate who says he invented the 'Please Call Me' messaging function, over the amount Makate should be compensated.

The #PleaseCallMe Movement has stated that it will not back down on its decision to shut down Vodacom HQ in Midrand on Thursday.

Show host Eusebius McKaiser says, however, that he doesn't know what to make of this whole situation. There is a part of him that wants to support the underdog.

So your heart goes out to Mr Makate instinctively and that is why so many of you are part of this movement and you are willing to try and shutdown Vodacom. But let me tell you what is confusing to me about the whole thing.

Eusebius McKaiser, presenter

READ: Lesufi: Vodacom stop being a bully and resolve the matter

I don't understand how much Vodacom offered him. I don't know how much the 'Please Call Me mechanism has generated in terms of revenue and profits for Vodacom and I don't know how much it is that Mr Makate is demanding as compensation.

Eusebius McKaiser, presenter

Eusebius says there are critical facts that would make a massive difference to public sentiment.

No one knows details about the negotiations and without knowing those facts, how do people know who to support, he asks.

I also went back to the ConCourt judgment to see if there are some numbers there and there aren't numbers. In fact, the first thing to be said about the ConCourt case is that the crux of the legal issue wasn't about the compensation.

Eusebius McKaiser, presenter

The crux of the legal issue was whether the head of product development at Vodacom had in law the authority to negotiate on behalf of Vodacom.

Eusebius McKaiser, presenter

The sticking point was that there was insufficient authority to negotiate, he adds.

Also read: Former MTN consultant claims he is the rightful owner of Please Call Me

What the ConCourt then said was that they agree with the fact that Makate was spot on in thinking that the gentleman across from him is representing Vodacom.

Eusebius McKaiser, presenter

He says he does, however, think the ConCourt made a mistake.

I really think the ConCourt messed up. The ConCourt says it is common cause that this product has generated revenue amounting to billions of rands. What that means, is that both parties have agreed that the value of this thing amounts into the billions.

Eusebius McKaiser, presenter

So if yesterday's reports are true that Vodacom had offered the guy R49 million, that would not be fair compensation as both parties agreed that the value amounts to billions.

Eusebius McKaiser, presenter

But here is the problem for the underdog and where I think the ConCourt messed up and the order says: The order of the High Court is set aside and replaced with the following order. It is declared that Vodacom Limited is bound by the agreement concluded by Mr Kenneth Nkosana Makate and Mr Phillip Geisler, Vodacom is ordered to commence negotiations in good faith with Makate for determining a reasonable compensation payable to him in terms of the agreement.

Eusebius McKaiser, presenter

In the event -, and here is where Vodacom is right - the judgment says in the event of the parties failing to agree on reasonable compensation, the matter must be submitted to Vodacom Chief Executive Officer for determination of the amount within a reasonable time.

Eusebius McKaiser, presenter

You are now caught between a rock and a hard place because the ConCourt messed up, how on earth can Vodacom's group CEO be an honest broker?

Eusebius McKaiser, presenter

Watch below as Eusebius share this view:

Listen below to the full open line and Eusebius's view:


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