Vodacom ready to return to court over Please Call Me saga

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Mobile operator Vodacom says it is ready to go back to court in the matter between the company and Please Call Me inventor Nkosana Makate.

The company says they will not be re-negotiating and have had extensive engagements with Makate’s team to have a reasonable compensation.

The compensation deal deadlocked last year and the CEO determined an amount which Makate rejected. Vodacom says there was no direct revenue from “please call me” as it was offered free and was a promotional offering. However, Makate has denied this.

Vodacom’s legal and regulatory head Nkateko Nyoka says, “Going forward what is going to happen is Mr Makate has indicated his intention to take the determination of the Vodacom Group CEO on judicial review. And the issues that affect the quantum of the amount of compensation and the process that was followed to set a number. Going with what Mr Makate is planning to do we will ventilate that in the courts, But we haven’t received any court papers from him but we anticipate in the next weeks and months we will possibly receive an application for review and review his application and grounds of review and as Vodacom we will map our strategy based on that.”

Vodacom says it wants an end to the dispute.

“It has certainly been a long time and you will always have to consider the longevity of the dispute in context , as I said the decision of the constitutional court was in April 2016 There were negotiations between May 2016 and December 2017 and the negotiation’s then broke down and the matter was referred to the CEO for deadlock breaking.”

Meanwhile, inventor of Please call me, Nkosana Makate, says he is close to victory. Makate says he will be challenging Vodacom’s offer in court -through a judicial review after the two parties deadlocked.

According to reports Vodacom had offered Makate over 40 million Rands for his invention, but the please call me campaign says the inventor is entitled to 70 billion Rands .

Makate argues “We still need to decide whether we will go to the CC directly or we’re going to the High Court. I’m already closer to victory. I’ve ran, I’ve always said I have ran 100 km race, I’m still on 95 and I’m not accepting anything that I consider ridiculous and flawed and unacceptable.”

Vodacom says the Please Call Me Campaign is not a national movement and they do not have the capacity to mount a boycott campaign that would cripple Vodacom’s brand . Vodacom’s CEO has agreed that they could have handled the matter better