Vodacom must pay 15c of every rand for every Please Call Me ever sent: inventor

Nkosana Makate has told the Sunday Times that he will still be asking for 15c of every Rand of revenue that Please Call Me has generated.

This comes after Makate’s recent victory in the Constitutional Court after a long battle, where Vodacom was ordered to negotiate in good faith to determine “reasonable compensation” for his idea.

“In the event of the parties failing to agree on the reasonable compensation, the matter must be submitted to Vodacom’s Chief Executive Officer for determination of the amount within a reasonable time,” the ruling said.

Makate said he now plans to go through the records of Vodacom and its parent, Vodafone, to work out what they owe him for the idea.

He said that they are “reassessing” their team of negotiators and are strengthening it with actuaries, auditors, and accountants. They are looking at big firms with an “appetite” to help them, said Makate.

According to Makate, the judgement paved the way for him to ask for the records of all Vodafone operations where Please Call Me is used.

Makate said that the service “is everywhere where Vodafone operates, so it’s not only confined to South Africa.”

Once they have all the records — including where and to whom Vodacom licensed the product — they will be able to quantify the 15%, Makate said.

In 2013, the Sunday Times reported that the amount could be as high as R6.75-billion rand. City Press reported that Makate’s team estimated that by now, that amount had climbed to R10.5 billion.

Makate’s wife, Rebecca, has said that a book about his 15-year battle with Vodacom to get compensation for his idea is in the works, and will be released through a UK publisher before December.

The full reports are available in the Sunday Times and City Press newspapers of 1 May 2016.

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Vodacom must pay 15c of every rand for every Please Call Me ever sent: inventor