Makate was replying to an opinion piece written by Nyoka, in which he said MTN had come up with the idea and that Vodacom had merely duplicated it.
According to Nyoka, MTN launched its idea a month before Vodacom.
Nyoka said Vodacom had complied with the Constitutional Court’s finding in favour of Makate even though the idea did not belong to Makate. The court had earlier overturned a high court ruling that had found in Vodacom’s favour.
“The Constitutional Court, on appeal, subsequently found that there was an agreement between Vodacom and Mr Makate, but noted that an outstanding contractual term - the price to be paid for Mr Makate’s idea - still had to be negotiated. Accordingly, it instructed Vodacom and Mr Makate to enter into negotiations, in good faith, to agree on ‘reasonable compensation payable to him'."
He said that the instructions from the Constitutional Court were complicated by the fact that MTN had come up with the idea and they did not make any money from the idea since it was used freely. “Please Call Me was an idea, but not an original one. It had already been invented and subsequently patented by MTN. In fact, MTN launched its version, called Call Me, the month before Vodacom did,” wrote Nyoka.
Makate rubbished this and said Vodacom had admitted in court that MTN did not have a similar product.
“Even the product development document that was in court written by Pambos Soteriades, who was supposed to be an expert witness for Vodacom, clearly states that MTN did not have a similar programme,” said Makate.