‘Please call me’ inventor vs. Vodacom

Previously Vodacom said amounts totalling more than R63bn, filed as invoices bearing the name of Makate, was a mistake.

Nkosana Makate, the "Please call me" inventor, rejected the R47 million that Vodacom offered in court to compensate him for his idea. Photo: Timeslive

Nkosana Makate, the Please call me inventor, will face Vodacom in court today until Friday.

Vodacom offered Makate R47 million for coming up with the concept, which he rejected, claiming the concept of PCM is worth billions.

Vodacom claimed they don’t make any revenue from Please call me, since it is a free service. However, Teboho Motaung, a former senior accountant at Vodacom, stated under oath the group undertook an accounting exercise to look into revenue streams like PCM.

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Vodacom had to turn over financial statements and copies of contracts Vodacom entered into with other service providers to establish what the income was due to Makate’s invention.

Judge Jody Kollapen ordered Vodacom to give him copies of all underlying data and financial information from 2001 until 2018.

Nkosana Makate presented the Please call me idea to Vodacom in 2000 but never received any recognition. Alan Knott-Craig, Vodacom’s CEO at the time, claimed he was the inventor. A judgement in 2014 in the South Gauteng High Court supported the claim that Makate was the inventor of the Please Call Me service.

Previously Vodacom said amounts totalling more than R63bn, filed as invoices bearing the name of Makate, was a mistake.

Makate and Vodacom is in the Gauteng High Court today to review Vodacom’s offer. He pinned a Tweet on his Twitter account, saying, “We are ready 4-6 May. We will leave no stone unturned. Judicial review.”

He also shared a link to follow the court case via live streaming:

https://twitter.com/i/broadcasts/1MnxnlvBrXyGO

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