Vodacom Appeals ‘Please Call Me’ Payout Order to ConCourt

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Vodacom Appeals ‘Please Call Me’ Payout Order to ConCourt

The ongoing legal battle between Vodacom and the inventor of the ‘Please Call Me’ service,
Nkosana Makate, continues as Vodacom has now approached South Africa’s Constitutional
Court. This follows a Supreme Court of Appeal judgment that ordered the cellphone
company to recalculate and likely increase its compensation offer to Makate.

Vodacom previously offered Makate R47 million for inventing the popular callback service,
but Makate rejected this amount. The appeal court found he was entitled to a far greater sum

  • between 5% to 7.5% of the total 18-year revenue from ‘Please Call Me,’ estimated at a
    staggering R70 billion.

Vodacom was ordered to make a new payout offer by next week. However, Vodacom argues
this judgment would negatively impact its business, employees, shareholders, and its ability
to invest in South Africa if upheld by the ConCourt.

In a statement, Vodacom said the ruling “would be vast and wide-ranging” in its
consequences for the company, while also hurting “the attractiveness of South Africa as an
investment destination.”

Though past compensation negotiations with Makate failed, Vodacom claims it remains open
to further talks and a potential settlement.

The ‘Please Call Me’ saga has dragged on since Makate first sued Vodacom over a decade
ago. If the Constitutional Court sides with the appeal court’s order, it could result in one of
the largest payouts to an individual in South African corporate history and deliver a measure
of justice to Makate. However, Vodacom is clearly determined to overturn the appeal
judgment, likely leading to more years of litigation.