Vodacom has confirmed that it has received a request for the delay in payment of Nkosana Makate‚ who invented Please Call Me‚ as the funders of his legal bid had a prior agreement with him.
“We can confirm that we have received the … request and that our focus is on complying with the order of the Constitutional Court‚ which requires us to negotiate in good faith with Mr Makate. We are committed to a swift resolution in line with the ruling of the Constitutional Court. We have already initiated a process for negotiating a reasonable compensation for Mr Makate and the matter is being dealt with as a priority‚” said Byron Kennedy‚ Vodacom spokesperson.
Bloomberg reported that Sterling Rand‚ which funded Makate in his legal bid against Vodacom‚ had asked the company to delay its full payment.
Sterling Rand‚ financial backers for Makate‚ told Vodacom to withhold at least 50% of any settlement‚ a letter sent on behalf of Sterling Rand by lawyers Fairbridges Wertheim Becker shows‚ according to the Bloomberg report.
Sterling Rand is concerned that Makate and his lawyers‚ Stemela & Lubbe‚ will agree to a deal that excludes the company.
If Vodacom does not agree to the request‚ an urgent application will be asked for from the courts‚ according to the letter dated May 23.
The dispute comes a month after the Constitutional Court ruled that Vodacom must compensate Makate for the idea‚ which allows customers with no balance on their mobile phones to alert someone with a free text message.