The owner of Ndabenhle Business Enterprise, John Khaba, is demanding Vodacom compensate him for an idea he claims, was his.
The idea in question is the Airtime Advance product Vodacom launched in 2011.
The premise is simple, users are able to get R5 or R10 in immediate credit which is then paid back when the users recharges their balance.
Users are charged R1 to use the service which means that if they take an advance of R10 they will have to pay R11 back to the service provider.
However, Mr Khaba has said that he in fact thought of the idea and approached Vodacom with the idea as long as one year prior to the launch of the product.
According to a report on The Sowetan, Khaba planned to by airtime in bulk which would in turn be sold through Vodacom cellphone containers in townships. The airtime would be purchased on credit that customers would ultimately repay and Khaba would get 5 cents for every rand that was repaid to Vodacom.
Khaba claims that he presented the idea to then Vodacom Chief Operations Officer, Vuyani Jarana in April 2010 in papers filed in the South Gauteng High Court.
The papers also allege that Khaba met with four other Vodacom officials at Vodacom headquarters in Midrand, Gauteng.
Meanwhile, Vodacom has said in its heads of argument, that Khaba had failed to prove it had breached its legal duty to him.
Should Khaba be successful in his hearings he will receive a substantial payout from the network operator, given that the service was launched in 2011 and Khaba is demanding 5c on every rand Vodacom made.
Having said that, a case Vodacom is currently embroiled in at the Constitutional Court in which Nkosana Makate claims that he created the “Please Call Me” service is on-going.
[Via – The Sowetan]