Former Vodacom employee’s ‘Please Call Me’ case goes to court

On Monday, the South Gauteng High Court denied an attempt by Vodacom to have the case set aside, and it was expected to resume this week, Business Report said on Tuesday.

Former Vodacom employee Nkosana Makate claims he invented the Please Call Me service in 2000. He said his boss at the time, Philip Geissler, promised in an oral agreement to facilitate remuneration negotiations with the company.

Geissler submitted the idea and said he would negotiate remuneration between Makate and Vodacom once it was developed and the technical and commercial feasibility was ascertained, according to the report.

Makate wants the court to compel Vodacom to discuss a reasonable compensation. He first approached the South Gauteng High Court in 2008 after he sent letters of demand to Vodacom in 2007.

According to the report, Vodacom does not compensate employees for their ideas above normal remuneration.

The paper quoted Vodacom's counsel Fanie Cillers as saying that Makate did not act in time.

"The plaintiff acted upon such fraudulent representations by not vindicating his rights within a reasonable period and confirming that [then chief executive Alan Knott-Craig] was the innovator of 'Please Call Me'." – Sapa, additional reporting by Staff Reporter

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