Nkosana Makate, the inventor of the popular “Please Call Me” service has declined R47 million (Sh351,752,081) offered to him by Vodacom for his invention, heading to court to demand more.

South African Telecom operator Vodacom had offered him the R47 million after lengthy negotiations. The counsel for Vodacom chief executive Shameel Joosub said the amount was fair, and that if anything, he had been overly generous.

The case has spanned for 21 years and Makate has asked the court to review the amount from Vodacom and set it aside arguing that the correct figure should be closer to R10 billion (Sh75 billion)

Makate has expressed confidence in his application to review the figures currently being presided over by the Gauteng High Court. Judge Wendy Hughes is hearing the matter virtually as counsel present their case from offices at Menlyn Corporate Park.

Vodacom made the offer to Makate after the constitutional court ordered the telco to enter into negotiations with the inventor to determine fair compensation.

Makate was entitled to 5pc of the revenue generated by Vodacom from the service, however, quantifying and calculating the amounts to arrive at a specific figure proved to be difficult according to the Telco.

Makate’s lawyer, Cedric Puckrin expressed dismay over Vodacom’s claims of not knowing exactly how much revenue had been generated from the product. The telco said that it could not give an exact time on how long the calls lasted, but it was less than two minutes. Makate’s counsel argued that data from the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa showed that it was usually longer than two minutes.

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The case goes back to the year 2000 when Makate, then a young trainee accountant at Vodacom came up with the genius idea.

“Makate was promised compensation. It is a common cause that Vodacom has earned billions of rand from Mr. Makate’s idea. Despite the product being such an overwhelming success, Vodacom refused to negotiate compensation for the use of the idea,” Marcus said.

Makate then tried to negotiate for compensation for the product from his employer but was rebuked, hence the court case.

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Nigel Jr.
As a tech enthusiast and expert, Nigel Jr. is dedicated to providing in-depth and insightful content on all things technology. With a background in online journalism, product reviewing, and tech creation, Nigel has become a trusted source for all things tech.

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