Vodacom has been asked to withhold a full payment to the employee credited with inventing the operator’s Please Call Me service.
According to a report by the Mail & Guardian, a dispute between the service’s “inventor” Kenneth Makate and the company which assisted in financially backing his 8-year legal battle against Vodacom – Sterling Rand – is the reason for the request.
Sterling Rand asked Vodacom to “withhold at least 50% of any settlement”, as it is concerned that Makate and his lawyers, Stemela & Lubbe, will agree to a deal that excludes Sterling Rand.
“We can confirm we have received this request,” said Vodacom in the report.
“However, our focus is on compliance with the order of the Constitutional Court which requires us to negotiate in good faith with Mr Makate.”
It is estimated that Makate may be entitled to around R10.5 billion following the court ruling, with Sterling Rand due half the amount for taking on the funding risk, stated the Mail & Guardian.
If Vodacom does not agree to the request, a court application will be filed by Sterling Rand.