Nkosana Makate denies Vodacom payment agreement

Please Call Me inventor Nkosana Makate.
Please Call Me inventor Nkosana Makate.
Image: Simphiwe Nkwali

The long protracted legal battle between Vodacom and “Mr Please Call Me” Nkosana Makate seems to be far from over. The latest salvo between the two comes after Vodacom was reported by Bloomberg as saying that they had agreed to pay “reasonable compensation” to Makate.

However, Makate took to his Facebook page to dispute that he had agreed to what he deemed an “insult”. Makate posted a screengrab of the article and posted it with the caption: “I would like to make it very clear that I have not agreed anything with Vodacom. The amount that the CEO has determined is shocking and an insult. I am currently being advised by my legal team on remedies available to me. Moreover, Vodacom has not apologised for their despicable conduct for the past 18 years as found by the Constitutional Court.”

Earlier on Friday night Bloomberg had reported that the company and its former employee had finally come to an agreement after a decade long legal battle. In the report Vodacom spokesperson Byron Kennedy is quoted as saying: “Vodacom can confirm that the group CEO has met with the legal representatives to convey his decision and determination on reasonable compensation”.

According to the report he also said: “In the spirit of the confidentiality agreement both parties signed as part of the negotiating process, Vodacom will not disclose the amount set by the CEO.”

Due to the long standing battle last year people marched to the company demanding that Makate be paid. The protesters were armed with placards that read: "Vodacom pay Makate", "Vodacom stop racism" whilst chanting struggle songs. They were supported by motorists who hooted and raised their fists in the air.

Makate took Vodacom to court claiming credit and financial compensation for the Please Call Me service that he had conceptualised whilst he worked in the finance division of Vodacom.

The payment negotiations have failed to yield any results after two years of negotiating following a Constitutional Court ruling in Makate’s favour.

In the past, the network provider had gone to court in an effort to stop Makate from discussing the negotiations in public.​

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