Banners on the N1 demand Vodacom pay Please Call Me “inventor”

Protestors have put up signs around Midrand with slogans stating that Vodacom has lied to investors and the JSE, and that it is not complying with a Constitutional Court order to pay Nkosana “Kenneth” Makate for his role in the creation of the Please Call Me.

On Friday, the signs were hung on the Olifantsfontein Road bridge overlooking the N1 South.

They have previously been displayed outside Vodacom World and at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg.

Makate has stated that Vodacom should pay him 15c of every rand of revenue that the Please Call Me generated, which could exceed R10 billion.

Since then the two parties have been negotiating, but a final settlement has not been reached yet.

Vodacom reportedly offered Makate R10 million earlier this year, which Makate refused.


Activists in the “Pay Makate” movement are now claiming that justice for Makate is a R70-billion payment from Vodacom.

Vodacom group CEO Shameel Joosub is currently tasked with finding appropriate compensation.

Joosub said in August that the two parties will make oral representations regarding their cases, after which he will make a call.

In the interim, a gag order has been obtained which prohibits the two parties from disclosing details about the negotiations.

Further reports have suggested that matters in Makate’s camp are a mess, as investors who put up the initial R2 million for his legal fees want a 50% share of the compensation Vodacom ultimately pays.

The initial investors were reportedly cut out of the deal when their money dried up, and Makate employed new legal counsel in January 2015.

Makate has argued that he cancelled his agreement with the initial investors when he got new lawyers, and alleged that his signature was forged on one of the legal documents with these investors.

Vodacom PayMakate signs over N1 South

“We reject the accusation in strongest possible terms”

Asked about the slogans on the signs, Vodacom said that it rejects the accusation that it lied to shareholders or the JSE “in the strongest possible terms.”

In its latest interim results for the six months ended 30 September 2018, Vodacom made the following statement regarding the case.

Negotiations in accordance with the Constitutional Court order to determine a reasonable compensation for Mr Makate for a business idea that led to a product known as ‘Please Call Me’ have deadlocked and the matter has been referred to the Group’s Chief Executive Officer to determine reasonable compensation in accordance with the Constitutional Court order.

The Vodacom Group chief executive officer has received written submission from both parties and oral hearings have been held, and a determination on reasonable compensation is expected to be made in due course.

Vodacom added that the activists’ claim it has set aside the order of the court is patently false.

Compensation and consequences

Asked about how much Vodacom is considering paying Makate, the company told MyBroadband that negotiations between the parties were conducted on a confidential basis.

“Vodacom will neither breach nor undermine the letter and spirit of the confidentiality undertakings made in agreements entered with Mr Kenneth Makate in this regard, noting that Mr Makate has previously breached the same confidentiality undertakings.”

Vodacom declined to comment on whether it would take action against the activists for the claims they are making, and for previously disrupting the operations of Vodacom shops.

Vodacom PayMakate sign at FNB Stadium

Now read: Vodacom Please Call Me fight a big mess

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Banners on the N1 demand Vodacom pay Please Call Me “inventor”