Gopolang Moloko
2 minute read
22 May 2018
12:01 pm

Vodacom’s R10m offer is ‘crazy’, says Please Call Me inventor Makate

Gopolang Moloko

The call-back inventor gave his thoughts on the R10-million offer made recently.

Please Call Me inventor Nkosana Makate is yet to be paid out by Vodacom after the Constitutional Court ruled in his favour.

Makate has called a R10-million settlement offer crazy, speaking on Metro FM on Tuesday. He says the estimated settlement is in the tens of billions, as Vodacom profited from the product and rolled it out to other countries.

Makate said he hoped for an amicable conclusion to the decade-long battle.

The R10 million offer is said to be less than Makate’s legal fees, and the Please Call Me inventor says the network is alleging an inability to calculate revenue.

It was more than 17 years ago when the Please Call Me was implemented, and Makate said he wanted to communicate with his wife, which resulted in the invention.

The then trainee accountant said he wanted to be able to send a message that cost him nothing to be able to send a message to the recipient, who would then be alerted to call back.

“The calculation is very easy, we’ve deployed experts for about 10 days to Vodacom, and we were able to do calculations, and we also did calculations from public available information that are part of our submission before Shameel [Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub].”

Makate estimates his compensation to be in the tens of billions, as he says the product was rolled out to other countries, indicating that the idea work well enough to be rolled out to other countries.

Vodacom is still in talks with Makate.

The battle has been in the public eye after Makate and Vodacom took the matter to court.

The battle appeared to have ended when the Constitutional Court ruled that Vodacom pay Makate.

According to a report of Makate’s affidavit, Vodacom is estimated to have made about R63 billion from the call-back concept.

Vodacom said it had not calculated the revenue generated by the Please Call Me service, adding they remained committed to upholding their end of the agreement.

The network reportedly said it arrived at the R10 million based on a model that considered the salary of Vodacom’s CEO in 2001, Alan Knott-Craig, who then earned R3.5 million.