Vodacom ordered to hand over financial records on ‘Please Call Me’

Makate says the settlement offer is based on revenue generated in a five-year period, while the service has generated revenue for 18 years and counting. Picture: Moneyweb

This is another win for inventor in battle that’s been going on for 20 years.

In the latest round of the legal battle between Please Call Me inventor Nkosana Makate and Vodacom, the telecomms giant has been ordered to hand over financial records related to the service, as well as value-added services contracts it had with other service providers, to assist in determining the value of the ground-breaking idea.

The North Gauteng High Court said on Monday that it gives Vodacom 21 days to hand over the records so that it will be able to determine how much is owed to Makate.

The former employee previously rejected an offer of R47 million in the hope of achieving a R20 billion settlement.

The figure reflects a 5% share of an estimated R205 billion in revenue that Makate believes was generated from the Please Call Me service, including interest calculated over an 18-year period in the 20-year battle.

Makate approached the courts seeking that Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub disclose the documents the group relied on to conclude that R47 million was the amount due to him for the idea.

Judge Jody Kollapen handed down a judgment that orders Vodacom to commence negotiations in good faith to determine a reasonable compensation payable to Makate.

“In the event of the parties failing to agree on the reasonable compensation, the matter must be submitted to Vodacom’s Chief Executive Officer for determination of the amount within a reasonable time,” the papers read.

Vodacom is ordered to pay the costs of the action, including costs of two counsel, if applicable, as well as the costs of an expert.

This article first appeared on Moneyweb and has been republished with permission.

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