Vodacom deal nixed by Makate
“Please Call Me” inventor Nkosana Makate said he hasn’t reached an agreement with Vodacom over compensation, over two years after the Constitutional Court ordered that he must be paid.
“… I have not agreed on anything with Vodacom. The amount that the Group CEO [Shameel Joosub] has determined is shocking and an insult,” Makate told Moneyweb.
Makate was reacting to Vodacom’s statement on Saturday that Joosub had decided on a “reasonable compensation” amount after both parties held the latest round of oral hearings in October 2018.
Vodacom spokesperson Byron Kennedy said Joosub had met with Makate’s legal representatives to convey “his decision and determination” on compensation and that Makate’s funds “will be transferred as soon as we have the banking account details... Vodacom considers the matter as finally settled and closed.” The amount wasn’t disclosed. Makate said he’s currently being advised by his legal team on remedies available.
Talks between Vodacom and Makate have stalled since the court ordered on April 26, 2016, that both parties enter into goodfaith negotiations to determine reasonable compensation for the invention. “Please Call Me” is a free service, enabling a user without airtime to send a text to be called back.
The court order also enabled Joosub to arbitrate negotiations, should a deadlock on compensation materialise.
Talks began to deadlock in December 2017, paving the way for Joosub to assume his deadlock-breaking role.
In theory, the matter is settled, as Vodacom and Makate have complied with the court’s order of entering compensation negotiations. But the actual compensation process is still pending.
In complaints filed to the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors and Companies and Intellectual Property Commission in April 2018 against Vodacom and PwC for misrepresentation of annual financial statements, Makate said Vodacom offered him R10 million compensation.
This is believed to be lower than Makate’s legal fees for the protracted battle.
Makate’s legal representatives and an expert team believe his compensation runs into billions of rands. In one court affidavit, Makate’s team concluded in 2015 that the invention generated R70 billion in revenue for Vodacom.
Makate said he’s entitled to 15% of the revenue.
HANG UP. Talks between Vodacom and ‘Please Call Me’ inventor Nkosana Makate have stalled. On April 26, 2016, a court ordered that both parties enter into negotiations to determine compensation.