Makate wins the PleaseCallMe case

By Drum Digital
26 April 2016

The Constitutional Court has ruled in favour of former Vodacom employee Nkosana Makate who came up with the Please Call Me concept.

By Kaizer Ngwenya

The Constitutional Court has ruled in favour of former Vodacom employee Nkosana Makate who came up with the Please Call Me concept.

Justice Chris Jafta said in his ruling that telecoms giant Vodacom was bound by the agreement with Makate, and must negotiate in good faith to pay him for reasonable compensation.

In his ruling, which was delivered this morning, Jafta said Vodacom’s conduct was not ethical and  “leaves a bad taste in the mouth.”

Makate was making his final attempt to try and make Vodacom compensate him for an invention that is believed to make billions of rands for the company. An actuarial estimate by Makate’s legal team says the Please Call Me service has netted Vodacom as much as R70 billion in revenue since the service was introduced in 2001.

It was a classic story of  David and Goliath that captured the attention of the public because it is not everyday an ordinary person manage to sustain a legal wrangle with a massive corporate for more than five years without losing steam.

Makate has been locked in a court battle with Vodacom for seven years.

Last year, the high court found it was Makate’s idea that led to the Please Call Me service. But he lost the case because the oral agreement he had entered into was authorised by another employee who was not authorised to contract on behalf of Vodacom.

The court also found the claim was made too late.

Makate’s legal team took the case to the Supreme Court of Appeal which refused him right to appeal a previous high court ruling.

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