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‘Please Call Me’ creator Nkosana Makate denies Vodacom payment agreement

Makate and Vodacom have been involved a legal battle for almost a decade now, around the ownership rights of the “Please Call Me” feature which allows customers to send the SMS message with zero balance on their phones.

Kenneth Nkosana Makate at the Constitutional Court, where he won his case against Vodacom over the 'Please Call Me' service. Picture: Mia Lindeque/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – “Please Call Me” inventor Nkosana Makate has denied claims by telecommunications giant Vodacom that they've granted him a reasonable payout for his invention.

Makate and Vodacom have been involved in a legal battle for almost a decade now, around the ownership rights of the “Please Call Me” feature which allows customers to send the SMS message with zero balance on their phones.

Makate alleges that Vodacom stole the idea from him while he was an employee of the company.

He said: “I haven’t reached any deal with Vodacom, I was dumped with some determination that the deal was done. We are reviewing that and we will be taking it up further.”

Vodacom's spokesperson says that the group CEO Shameel Joosub has met with the legal representatives of Makate and Vodacom to convey his decision and determination as directed by the Constitutional Court order but that in the spirit of the confidentiality agreement both parties signed as part of the negotiating process, the amount set as reasonable compensation by Joosub will not be disclosed.

Vodacom has confirmed that Makate's funds will be transferred as soon as the company has received his bank account details.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)

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