Please Call Me inventor heads back to ConCourt

Vodacom. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)
Vodacom. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

Johannesburg - Negotiations between the inventor of 'Please Call Me', Kenneth Makate, and Vodacom have hit a brick wall with the matter going back to court.

Makate has applied for an order at the Consitutional Court, seeking clarification on the import and meaning of a judgment handed down earlier this year. 

South Africa’s highest court ruled in April this year that Johannesburg-based Vodacom must compensate Makate for the Please Call Me idea.

In a statement to Fin24 on Friday, Vodacom said it had been committed to engaging in good faith negotiations to determine reasonable compensation for Makate in light of the judgment but that talks have stalled.

READ: Please Call Me inventor: ‘I still respect Knott-Craig’

“Despite our best efforts and endeavours in good faith, we are extremely disappointed that the negotiations have been put on hold by Mr Makate’s applying to the courts seeking a clarification on the import and meaning of the Constitutional Court Order," Vodacom said in a statement.

Vodacom further said that it "has made a number of attempts to resolve the current impasse and remains open to finding a fair solution through a process that will consider various computation methodologies, as opposed to one singular methodology demanded by Makate, to arrive at a reasonable amount of compensation to finally settle this matter”.

READ: Dispute threatens to delay Please Call Me talks

Makate, a former employee of Vodacom, is credited with coining the concept for the Please Call Me idea in 2001, which allows customers with no balance on their mobile phones to alert someone with a free text message.

Makate's victory in the Constitutional Court earlier this year came after years of legal battles over the matter.

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