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‘Please Call Me’ creator beats Vodacom in ConCourt

It has been a long battle for Nkosana Makate, but it seems like he might just have scored a victory over mobile phone operator Vodacom.

Makate claims to be the creator of the ‘Please Call Me’ system, which allows mobile phone subscribers to send a free request to other mobile numbers if they wish to be phoned.

To make a long story very short, Makate in court documents claims to have come up with the idea first, which Vodacom naturally disputed. Being a trainee at Vodacom in 2000, he shared his idea with Philip Geissler, the then head of product development, who Makate claims agreed to pay him a share of the profits generated.

According to Makate, then CEO of Vodacom Alan Knott-Craig later passed the idea off as his own.

During a High Court hearing, he managed to successfully show that a remuneration agreement was in place, but the judge dismissed it.

And now, after much back and forth and several years (and court appearances) later, the matter landed in the Constitutional Court.

According to news sources, the Constitutional Court made its judgement this morning, and has ordered Vodacom to start a process of negotiations with Makate in terms of compensation.

Last year May, he told Destiny Man that he wanted to jointly own the system with Vodacom.

“All I wanted was for Vodacom and I to jointly make money from this invention on a percentage share basis like all other business deals concluded by the company on this basis… ‘Please Call Me’ has turned out to be one of the most successful inventions that Vodacom has ever had,” he said.

*More details to follow*

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