Funding for Please Call Me case against Vodacom revealed

2013-08-12 10:18

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

A group of wealthy businessmen have emerged as the financial backers of a former Vodacom employee’s civil claim involving the company’s Please Call Me service.

Pretoria attorney Chris Schoeman and two partners recently formed a company, Sterling-Rand, to fund civil cases that may have some merit, Business Day reported today.

The company picks up the legal fees on behalf of plaintiffs and takes a cut of any settlement that may be achieved.

Nkosana Makate took Vodacom to court to get compensation for the Please Call Me service he claims he invented in 2000. He said the executive for product development at the time, Philip Geissler, promised in an oral agreement to facilitate remuneration negotiations with the company.

According to the newspaper, Sterling-Rand has funded Makate to the tune of R5 million in legal fees in his case against Vodacom.

Schoeman said: “It is a well-known fact that in SA the ordinary person who has a legitimate claim against a large corporation or some kind of state-owned entity has little chance of success.

“It was a common tactic that large organisations used their deep pockets to out-litigate a plaintiff and thus deny them justice,” he was quoted as saying.

Schoeman said the firm’s analysis of Makate’s case suggested that Vodacom could have benefited as much as R45 billion from the concept.

“It’s been very stressful, being in court and under cross-examination,” Makatetold City Press during an interview.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.