Vodacom ordered to pay former worker for ‘Please Call Me’

Vodacom Group must pay a former employee for inventing a popular calling service after earlier claiming an ex-chief executive officer was responsible, according to a Constitutional Court ruling.

Kenneth Makate suggested the idea behind “Please Call Me” to Vodacom’s product-development team in 2000, and the concept was immediately taken up, the Johannesburg court judgement shows. About 140 000 customers made use of the service on its first day in operation, and it “continues to be a huge success”, according to court documents. Vodacom former chief executive Alan Knott-Craig was wrongly credited with the innovation, which allowed customers with no balance on their mobile phones to alert someone for free with the SMS message: “Please Call Me,” the ruling showed.

“We are aware of the Constitutional Court ruling and are currently studying its contents,” Vodacom spokesperson Byron Kennedy said by e-mail.

Vodacom have 30 days to start compensation negotiations with Makate, the court ruled. The shares reversed gains in Johannesburg, before recovering to trade 0.3% higher at R167 as of 11.26am local time. – Bloomberg

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.


The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Western Cape SMBs look to technology to get them through pandemic

Many companies have over-capitalised on IT infrastructure in the past, and are looking for ways to access simpler, cheaper technology that cuts their costs

See people as individual humans, not as a race

We need to ingrain values of equality in education, businesses, society broadly and religious groups to see people

JJ Rawlings left an indelible mark on Ghana’s history

The air force pilot and former president used extreme measures, including a coup, enforced ‘discipline’ through executions, ‘disappearances’ and floggings, but reintroduced democracy

Sudan’s government gambles over fuel-subsidy cuts — and people pay the price

Economists question the manner in which the transitional government partially cut fuel subsidies

Africa study finds three million new genetic variations

The findings have wide relevance, from learning more about African history and migration to specific variants of people’s health

Land reform still a hot potato

The land has got to belong to all the people of South Africa, and many believe that there’s no other mechanism for that except expropriation
Advertising

Subscribers only

Covid-19 surges in the Eastern Cape

With people queuing for services, no water, lax enforcement of mask rules and plenty of partying, the virus is flourishing once again, and a quarter of the growth is in the Eastern Cape

Ace prepares ANC branches for battle

ANC secretary general Ace Magashule is ignoring party policy on corruption-charged officials and taking his battle to branch level, where his ‘slate capture’ strategy is expected to leave Ramaphosa on the ropes

More top stories

See people as individual humans, not as a race

We need to ingrain values of equality in education, businesses, society broadly and religious groups to see people

JJ Rawlings left an indelible mark on Ghana’s history

The air force pilot and former president used extreme measures, including a coup, enforced ‘discipline’ through executions, ‘disappearances’ and floggings, but reintroduced democracy

Sudan’s government gambles over fuel-subsidy cuts — and people pay...

Economists question the manner in which the transitional government partially cut fuel subsidies

Traditional healers need new spaces

Proper facilities supported by well-researched cultural principles will go a long way to improving the image and perception of the practice of traditional medicine
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…