Court allows Vodacom to seek review in multimillion-rand Please Call Me compensation case

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Nkosana Makate, the inventor of 'Please Call Me' braces for a Supreme Court of Appeal challenge with Vodacom.
Nkosana Makate, the inventor of 'Please Call Me' braces for a Supreme Court of Appeal challenge with Vodacom.
Leon Sadiki

Vodacom has been granted leave to appeal a February court ruling that found in favour of 'Please Call Me' inventor Nkosana Makate, potentially entitling him to a much larger amount than the R47-million settlement previously offered by the mobile phone operator following a 2019 court ruling. 

The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Monday allowed Vodacom to seek a review of the ruling that directed the operator to make a new determination on the settlement with Makate within one month.

In February, the court had ruled that Makate was entitled to 5% of the total voice revenue generated from the micro-text service from March 2001 to March 2021. Makate had rejected the R47-million settlement offer by Vodacom.

Vodacom argued that the court could only interfere with the amount the CEO had determined if "the R47 million awarded to Mr Makate was patently inequitable", but that Judge Wendy Hughes had failed to do so. 

In her ruling granting the appeal, Hughes denied that she failed to consider whether the amount was patently inequitable. But, she said, "in light of the submissions from both parties, I am persuaded that a compelling reason exists to grant leave to appeal".

The court had also ordered that Makate is entitled to 27% of the revenue generated by the return of calls sent through the Please Call Me platform.

Hughes said the grounds advanced by Vodacom for appeal had "reasonable prospects to succeed".

Makate said he and his legal representatives always knew that Vodacom would appeal, and are prepared for the Supreme Court of Appeal and the Constitutional Court if necessary.

"Judge Hughes still stands by her judgment, but nevertheless we were expecting this from Vodacom," he told Fin24.

Makate and Vodacom have been involved in the protracted court battle over payment for the concept since 2008. The former Vodacom trainee accountant came up with the Please Call Me concept, a free micro-messaging service that allows network users to send people on the same service a call-back request.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
16.90
-0.2%
Rand - Pound
20.13
+0.0%
Rand - Euro
17.03
-0.1%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.68
-0.1%
Rand - Yen
0.12
+0.0%
Gold
1,753.19
-0.3%
Silver
19.35
-1.0%
Palladium
2,151.47
-0.3%
Platinum
910.50
-0.4%
Brent Crude
96.59
+3.0%
Top 40
64,184
0.0%
All Share
71,011
0.0%
Resource 10
63,890
0.0%
Industrial 25
86,864
0.0%
Financial 15
16,201
0.0%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Company Snapshot
Government tenders

Find public sector tender opportunities in South Africa here.

Government tenders
This portal provides access to information on all tenders made by all public sector organisations in all spheres of government.
Browse tenders