‘Please Call Me’ inventor barred from communicating with media


PRETORIA, June 26 – The inventor of Vodacom’s “Please Call Me” service, Nkosana Makate, reached an agreement with the giant mobile telecommunications company on Tuesday, that he will stop talking to the media.

Vodacom filed an application at the High Court in Pretoria to block Makate from divulging information about their payment negotiations.

“The respondent undertakes that he will disclose no confidential issues as defined in the confidentiality agreement, nor discuss the contents of negotiations with any third parties, including the media,” read the draft order.

In court papers filed by Vodacom, the company said Makate’s actions impeded with the negotiations process.

“How would the parties be able to negotiate with each other in good faith when the contents of their negotiations are the subject matter of a well orchestrated and honed strategy that has constantly been leaked to the media,” Vodacom said in court papers.

Makate has been involved in an 18-year battle with the mobile telecommunications group who has not given him credit for his invention.

In April 2016, the Constitutional Court ruled that the two parties should reach a consensus and negotiate how much Makate should be compensated.

It has been widely reported that Vodacom made an estimated R70 billion off the service and, in his initial claim, Makate wanted 15 percent – R10.5bn.

According to reports, Vodacom offered Makate R10 million claiming it was not able to calculate the revenue derived from the use of the “Please Call Me” service since 2001.

Makate claims a reputable accounting firm estimated that the 25 percent he wanted from Vodacom’s “Please Call Me” revenue was running into billions of rands.

– African News Agency (ANA)