Please Call me inventor Nkosana Makate in court. Picture: Zelda Venter
Please Call me inventor Nkosana Makate in court. Picture: Zelda Venter

'Please Call Me' inventor Nkosana Makate still waiting for Vodacom financial records

By Zelda Venter Time of article published Mar 12, 2020

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Pretoria - The inventor of 'Please Call Me', Nkosana Makate will have to wait to hear whether Vodacom and its CEO has to provide him with documents on which they based their decision to only grant him R47 million for his invention.

He turned to the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria on Thursday in a bid to obtain some of Vodacom's financial statements and copies of contracts the
cellphone giant have concluded with other service providers to see what they had earned.

Makate is challenging the decision made by CEO Shameel Joosub, as he feels that the R47m is not reasonable compensation. He, however,
launched this interlocutory application to obtain the documents, as he said he needed it for his pending judicial review application.

His advocate, Steven Budlender, told Judge Jody Kollapen that his client wanted access to five categories of documents.

Makate is of the opinion that his invention has made multi-millions for Vodacom and that he is thus entitled to some of those millions.

Makate had been embroiled in a legal dispute with Vodacom for more than a decade following his invention of the “Please Call me” service.

He presented the idea to Vodacom in 2000, but was never given recognition. Vodacom’s CEO at the time, Alan Knott-Craig claimed to be
the inventor.

After eight years of litigation, the Constitutional Court in April 2016 declared Makate as the inventor and ordered that Vodacom had to negotiate in good faith with Makate to determine reasonable compensation to him.

The court further ordered that if the parties failed to agree on reasonable compensation, Vodacom’s CEO had to determine the amount.

Negotiations between Makate and Vodacom failed and the CEO stepped in and in January last year declared that R47 million was a reasonable amount.

Meanwhile, Vodacom and its CEO refused to give Makate the documents he requested. It was argued that they either did not have some of the
documents as it does not exist and that other documents, such as agreements with other service providers and financial statements, were
confidential.

Makate was in court on Wednesday and supported by a group sporting T-shirts with the #PleaseCallMe slogan on.

Pretoria News

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