Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Vodacom ‘Please Call Me’ settlement offer ‘an insult’ – Makate

Nkosana Makate, the former Vodacom employee who came up with the concept behind the widely-used ‘Please Call Me’ phone service, has rejected the mobile operator’s claims that a settlement agreement had been reached between him and the company.

In April 2016, the Constitutional Court ordered that Vodacom “commence negotiations in good faith with Mr Kenneth Nkosana Makate for determining a reasonable compensation.”

The court also ordered that Vodacom’s CEO be the one who determines the amount “within a reasonable time” in the event that the two parties fail to reach a deal.

But in a recent Facebook post, Makate described the offer that he was given by Vodacom’s CEO Shameel Joosub as “shocking and an insult”, writing that he is currently consulting his legal team to determine a way forward. He further expressed that Vodacom “has not apologised for their despicable conduct for the past 18 years.”

Vodacom, in a statement, said that Joosub “in his judicially determined deadlock breaking role, received oral and written representations from both parties after the negotiations between the two parties had deadlocked.”

According to the statement, the CEO met with Makate’s legal team “to convey his decision and determination” and both parties signed a confidentiality agreement which impedes Vodacom from disclosing the amount set by the CEO.

Vodacom said Makate’s funds will be transferred to him as soon as he provides his banking details.

“Vodacom considers the matter as finally settled and closed,” the statement reads.

Makate invented the “Please Call Me” service in 2000, while employed as a trainee accountant by Vodacom. The idea was borne from the inconvenience of his long distance girlfriend not being able to contact him when she had run out of airtime.

He has been negotiating with Vodacom for several years in an attempt to get “reasonable compensation” for the service.

After initial negotiations, the parties reached an oral agreement. Vodacom would use Makate’s idea which would be tested in a trial, and Makate would be paid a share in the revenue that his product generated if the product was successful. Makate originally indicated that he wanted 15% of the revenue, but negotiations on the amount were deferred to a later date.

Vote for an informed choice

We’re dropping the paywall this week so that everyone can access all our stories for free, and access the information they need in the run up to the local government elections. To follow the news, sign up to our daily elections newsletter for the latest updates and analysis.

If our coverage helps inform your decision, cast your vote for an informed public and join our subscriber community. Right now, you can a full year’s access for just R510. Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

Paddy Harper: On gleeful politicians and headless chickens

Paddy Harper doesn’t know who to vote for yet, since the Dagga Party isn’t contesting his ward, but right now what to order for lunch is a more pressing concern

Malema: ANC will use load-shedding to steal votes

While on the campaign trail in the Eastern Cape, EFF leader Julius Malema, without evidence, claimed the ANC was planning to use rolling blackouts to ‘steal votes’

Khaya Koko: The looting isn’t over until the fat belly...

A song about Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane preventing looting was way off the mark in a province riddled with corruption and theft

Eskom will try to avoid blackouts during local government elections

Chief operating officer Jan Oberholzer said the ailing state power utility’s staff would be on standby as South Africans cast their votes on 1 November
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×