Big win for Vodacom’s “please call me” inventor

Big win for Vodacom’s “please call me” inventor

Nkosana Makate, 44, has a reason to smile after Gauteng High Court ordered Vodacom to pay him 5% of the total voice revenue generated from Please Call Me (PCM) feature in the past 20 years.

Vodacom, which has 35% stake in Safaricom Plc had offered to pay Mr. Makate about $3mn, which is not a good deal as per the court. The inventor, however, is demanding more than $1.2bn in compensation arguing that the amount constitutes 5% of revenue from the group’s $13.2bn in income generated from the service over a period of 18 years.

“The applicant (referring to Makate) is entitled to be paid 5% of the total voice revenue generated from the PCM product from March 2001 to March 2021,” Judge Wendy Hughes said, adding that the applicant is entitled to 27% of the number of PCMs sent daily as being revenue generated by the return calls to the PCM.

Mr Makate who left Vodacon in 2004, has been in a legal battle with the firm for nearly two decades thanks to PCM, a callback feature that allows subscribers of Safaricom and Vodacom to notify the message recipients to call them back especially when they run out of airtime.

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