Meet Nkosana Makate, ‘Please Call Me’ Inventor Who Is Demanding 75B Compensation

KEY POINTS:

  • Nkosana Makate, the originator of mobile service, 'Please Call Me' is demanding a total of Sh75 billion as compensation from the company.
  • Vodacom company initially had agreed to pay Makate Sh354 million which he rejected.
  • The 'Please Call Me' service was first introduced to the market in 2001. This is a free sms service that allows subscribers to send message to another user requesting to be called back.

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Nkosana Makate, the originator of mobile service, ‘Please Call Me’ is demanding a total of Sh75 billion as compensation from the Vodacom company.

Vodacom company initially had agreed to pay Makate Sh354 million which he rejected. The push and pull between the company and the inventor has resulted into a bruising court battle.

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Makate rejected the deal which was formally presented to him by Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub.

The ‘Please Call Me’ service was first introduced to the market in 2001. This is a free sms service that allows subscribers to send message to another user requesting to be called back.

The push and pull between Makate and Vodacom has been taking place for over 20 years now and The Gauteng High Court in Pretoria is hoping to bring the matter to rest by reaching at an amicable solution.

The ruling on Vodacom in South Africa also have an indirect effect on Safaricom which is a sister company that still uses ‘Please Call Me’ service.

Makate who was at that time an employee of Vodacom, informed his bosses about this new idea which they successfully adopted and is still in use till today. What hurts him is that he has never been paid.

In 2014, the Gauteng High Court supported his claims that he is the originator who is supposed to be handsomely paid.

However, he lost the case with the judge stating that “Geissler did not have the authority to promise Makate such compensation and that the debt would have expired.”

He appealed the case and further moved to the constitutional court. There he won forcing Vodacom to pay him for inventing the ‘Please Call Me’ service.

Vodacom in its argument argued that it had not generated income from the service since its launch.

Makate on the other sides wants sh75 billion and nothing else.

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