Makate scores big victory in Vodacom Please Call Me fight

The Pretoria High Court has ruled that Vodacom must go back to the drawing board to calculate fair compensation to Nkosana Makate for his invention of the Please Call Me (PCM), SowetanLive has reported.

In a ruling on Monday, Judge Wendy Hughes gave Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub one month to make a new determination of appropriate compensation for voice call revenue generated from PCM.

Joosub previously offered Makate R47 million after the Constitutional Court ordered Vodacom to negotiate appropriate compensation for the invention in good faith.

Makate rejected this and alleged it was well below his due, which he believed should be R20 billion.

That figure was based on a 5% share of an estimated R205 billion in revenue his legal team had calculated Vodacom had amassed from Please Call Mes over 18 years.

Makate has gradually increased the value of his claim against Vodacom as his legal battle with the operator has dragged on.

The High Court has now ruled that Makate is entitled to 5% of the total voice revenue generated from the PCM product over 20 years, from March 2001 to March 2021.

“That total voice revenue includes PCM revenue derived from prepaid, contract (both in bundle and out bundle) and interconnect fees as set out in the second respondent’s annual financial statements,” the judgment stated.

Nkosana Makate

The court added that Makate was entitled to 27% of the number of PCMs sent daily as being revenue generated by return calls.

In addition, he should be awarded “the time value of money calculated at 5% for each successive year”.

The court has left it to the Vodacom CEO to determine the annual effective rate, which should blend the effective contract rate and effective prepaid rate, to help determine the compensation Makate should be awarded.

In each case, the court said the tariffs may not be less than the effective rates published with Icasa.

For the calculation, Vodacom must assume an average duration of two minutes for each call generated due to a PCM.

A Vodacom spokesperson told MyBroadband the company would appeal the judgment.

“Vodacom remains of the view its negotiations with Mr. Makate were held in good faith, as determined in the Order of the Constitutional Court issued on 26 April 2016,” they said.

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Makate scores big victory in Vodacom Please Call Me fight