Vodacom and Estranged Former Employee To Settle ‘Please Call Me’ Dispute Outside Court

Vodacom and estranged former employee to settle ‘Please Call Me’ dispute outside court. Telecom company Vodacom is currently in talks according to several reports with Kenneth Makate, a former employee in a bid to reach an out-of-court settlement in the “Please Call Me” phone service issue.

Vodacom and Former Employee to Settle Outside Court

Vodacom and Former Employee to Settle Outside Court

In response to the recent ruling by South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal, Vodacom Group Limited has expressed its intention to engage in private talks with Mr. Makate, the individual behind the “Please Call Me” (PCM) service.

The court ruled that Vodacom must compensate Makate with a share of its revenue generated from the PCM service over the past 18 years, amounting to a substantial sum ranging from R29 billion to R55 billion, plus interest. Additionally, Makate would receive 27% of the voice revenue from PCM messages.

The Dispute between Makate and Vodacom

The dispute between Makate and Vodacom dates back to 2008 when Makate accused the telco of reneging on its promise regarding compensation for the PCM service he proposed while working in Vodacom’s finance department.

Despite Vodacom’s attempts to negotiate and contest the ruling, the company now seeks to resolve the matter outside of court. Makate, however, is expected to submit opposing papers to the Constitutional Court this week, signaling his continued pursuit of fair compensation.

The Impact of the Court’s Decision on Vodacom’s Operations

Vodacom has emphasized the potential adverse impact of the court’s decision on its operations, including its employees, shareholders, and the country’s public finances. The company warns that complying with the ruling would affect network investment, coverage, and social programs. Moreover, Vodacom’s CEO had previously offered Makate a compensation package of R47 million, which was nullified by the recent court order.

The ramifications of the court’s decision extend beyond Vodacom’s internal operations to its black economic empowerment structure, Yebo Yethu, which has approximately 80,000 black shareholders. If the decision is upheld, Vodacom asserts that the shareholders’ investment in Yebo Yethu would be jeopardized, potentially leading to its dissolution.

Vodacom Has Expressed Its Willingness to Engage In Good-Faith Dialogue

Despite the challenges posed by the court ruling, Vodacom has expressed its willingness to engage in good-faith dialogue and negotiations with Makate to reach a reasonable resolution, while also continuing its legal appeal process.

The outcome of these discussions will likely have significant implications for both parties involved and may impact the future of telecommunications in South Africa.



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