Please Call Me inventor seeks ZAR 10 billion from Vodacom for app idea
23 August 2019
The legal battle between Kenneth Makate and Vodacom South Africa over compensation for his 'Please Call Me' idea has taken another turn, with Makate demanding ZAR 10 billion from Vodacom, the Sunday Times reported. It said Makate approached the North Gauteng High Court to challenge the ZAR 47 million (previously reported to be ZAR49 million) that Vodacom offered him for the idea.
This amount was determined by Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub, who Makate argues acted "irregularly, unreasonably, irrationally, unfairly, unjustly and inequitably". Vodacom said, as per a Constitutional Court order, that its CEO has determined the amount of reasonable compensation payable to Makate and considered the matter as settled and closed.
Makate said while he appreciates that ZAR 47 million for an idea sounds like a lot of money, it is nothing compared with how much Vodacom has made from 'Please Call Me'. He said calculations by his team estimate that 'Please Call Me' had earned Vodacom ZAR 205 billion since 2001. Makate wants 5 percent of the total revenue that Vodacom generated from Please Call Me, with interest, from March 2001. Based on his calculations, this equates to a minimum of ZAR 10.25 billion.
Vodacom's ZAR 47 million offer to Makate is much higher than any previous offer for an idea from the company.