Makate wants R29-billion from Vodacom in ‘Please Call Me’ saga

Kenneth Nkosana Makate’s legal battle with Vodacom over the “Please Call Me” service could see him getting R29-billion in compensation, which would make him one of South Africa’s richest people.

This compensation would put him amongst the likes of Motsepe, Oppenheimer, and Rupert, making him the fifth richest person in the nation.

Documents from the legal dispute, seen by MyBroadband, suggest that Makate could receive the R29-billion payout from Vodacom.

Makate’s concept from 2001, aimed at helping Vodacom customers signal their contacts without spending airtime, led to the widely popular “Please Call Me” feature. 

Despite its success, Makate did not play a part in its patenting or development. The credit for inventing the service in its final form went to legal expert Ari Kahn, who had developed a similar service for MTN.

Makate pursued legal action against Vodacom, demanding fair compensation for his initial idea. His legal team originally wanted R20-billion, arguing that the “Please Call Me” service had made major revenue for Vodacom. 

After Vodacom’s initial offer of R10-million was rejected, Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub offered R47-million based on different revenue models. Makate also declined these offers.

The matter then went to the High Court, which ruled in Makate’s favour in February 2022, a decision Vodacom appealed without success.

The Supreme Court of Appeal ordered Vodacom to award Makate a percentage of the revenue generated by “Please Call Me” over 18 years, which could be between R28.99-billion and R55.37-billion.

Pictured above: Kenneth Nkosana Makate. 

Image source: X


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