David takes on Go­liath un­til jus­tice is served

CityPress - - Business - Muzi Kuzwayo busi­ness@ city­press. co. za

When you get to the Con­sti­tu­tional Court, be care­ful of Jus­tice Sisi Kham­pepe. She is go­ing to come at you from your right, and she is go­ing to be re­lent­less.

Don’t try to be per­fect. Don’t try to be smart. Hu­mil­ity won’t get you any ex­tra points. Just be you.

If you for­get your facts, Jus­tice MJD Wal­lis will be there to pull you out by read­ing to you from that un­der­grad text­book you had al­ready for­got­ten by the time you were drink­ing at your grad­u­a­tion party.

Don’t make the mis­take of say­ing “My Lord”. Chief Jus­tice Mo­go­eng Mo­go­eng will be quick to re­mind you that you aren’t there to pray to him. But don’t trust that one. He has a de­cep­tive, broth­erly smile that will lull you into think­ing you’ve won the case al­ready. Bad mis­take.

Un­less you’re su­per­hu­man, when the heat is turned up, you’re go­ing to con­fuse your thoughts, you’re go­ing to stut­ter, and Jus­tice Ed­win Cameron is go­ing to throw you a life­line by calmly ask­ing you ques­tions.

But Jus­tice Jo­hann van der Westhuizen is go­ing to tie your an­kles and dip your head in the wa­ter. As you come up for air, the only thing you will hear are the sharp pro­fes­so­rial ques­tions from Jus­tice Chris Jafta.

Let’s all pray that God does not ask Deputy Chief Jus­tice Dik­gang Moseneke to as­sist on the day of judg­ment. It’s not that you won’t get into heaven or hell, it’s just that the heat at the pearly gates will feel higher than hell it­self.

This is where Nkosana Makate will be sit­ting on Tues­day when he squares up against Vo­da­com in the Con­sti­tu­tional Court. Makate is a study in re­silience. It has taken him eight years to get here, lots of money and end­less faith in him­self and the jus­tice sys­tem.

Big cor­po­ra­tions like to bully the small guy. No, I take that back. It is not the big cor­po­ra­tions. The build­ings have noth­ing to do with it, the share­hold­ers would rather get the money that is wasted on the courts, and the rest of the em­ploy­ees do not care for the bad pub­lic­ity their em­ployer gets.

For Makate, it all started more than 15 years ago. The seed was his love for his girl­friend, now his wife.

Makate says he in­vented the “Please call me” ser­vice. For­mer CEO of Vo­da­com Alan Knott-Craig dis­putes this. He says he in­vented it. Judge Phillip Cop­pin dis­missed that ver­sion as non­sense.

Makate’s ver­sion is dif­fer­ent. He told me that the whole idea for the ser­vice came from his per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence. He lived in Johannesbu­rg and his then girl­friend was a stu­dent at the Univer­sity of Fort Hare in the Eastern Cape. He missed her ter­ri­bly and phoned her ev­ery day, but she never re­cip­ro­cated.

They say love will move moun­tains. It was a Sun­day night, and Nkosana, who worked in the fi­nance depart­ment, sat down to think about how he could solve his prob­lem.

He cracked the idea, and spent most of the night writ­ing it up. In the morn­ing, he showed it to his di­rect boss, Lazarus Muchenje. He thought about tak­ing the idea to MTN, but Lazzie sug­gested he should keep it within Vo­da­com and ad­vised him to ap­proach head of prod­uct de­vel­op­ment Phillip Geissler.

“Why did you take Vo­da­com to court, Nkosana?” I asked him.

He took a deep breath, like a man who had crossed ev­ery un­cross­able val­ley and whose soul had been scarred by ev­ery thorn along the way.

“For jus­tice,” he replied. “Be­cause the lit­tle man doesn’t get it.” Kuzwayo is the founder of Ig­ni­tive,

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