‘Please Call Me’ inventor to be paid Sh1.4bn after a long court battle

‘Please Call Me’ inventor, Nkosana Makate, will be paid Sh1.4bn after a long court battle, the court has ruled.

A South African court has ordered Vodacom, a sister company to Safaricom, to pay the inventor of “Please Call Me” (PCM) 5% of the total voice revenue produced by the product over the past 20 years, after a two-decade battle.

The verdict, handed down by the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, determined that the telecommunications behemoth, which holds a 35% share in Safaricom Plc, had shortchanged inventor Nkosana Makate.

The ‘Please Phone Me’ feature allows Vodacom-linked network callers in 32 countries, including Kenya, to tell message recipients that they should call them back.

The South Africa-based multinational currently owns a 35 percent stake in Safaricom. 

The amount is much higher than what he was previously offered by the giant mobile phone operator following a 2019 Constitutional Court ruling. 

Makate had rejected the first settlement and requested a court review, which he hailed as a “huge relief.”

Despite the fact that the firm offered Mr Makate Sh345 million, the court deemed the amount to be far too low.

“Vodacom CEO was disingenuous to project that PCM, as a third-party service provider, should only be allocated a duration of five years,” the judge said.

She ordered that Makate be paid 5 percent of the total voice revenue generated from “Please Call Me” – starting from March 2001 to March 2021 – and not only for five years as earlier calculated by Vodacom. 

Original article

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