Makate urges young people to fight for what they believe in

todayFebruary 7, 2024 46

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‘Please Call Me’ inventor, Nkosana Makate, says his protracted fight with Vodacom is a message to young people to keep fighting for what they believe in.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court of Appeal ordered that the telecoms giant make a new offer to Makate within 30 days, therefore invalidating its initial R47 million offer.

The court said Vodacom must take into account the time value of money given that Makate had entered into a contract with Vodacom for 18 years.

The judgment has left South Africa’s largest mobile operator surprised and disappointed.

Vodacom spokesperson, Byron Kennedy, says the cellphone giant will lodge an application for leave to appeal at the Constitutional Court.

Makate has rejected the R47 million offer made by the Vodacom Group’s CEO Shameel Joosub.

He believes that money owed to him is close to R10 billion, given the calculations from when the model was invested.

In 2020, the High Court in Pretoria set aside Joosub’s determination and ordered him to reconsider the settlement offered to the ‘Please Call Me’ inventor.

Makate says the appeal court’s decision brings him one step closer to victory.

He has urged young people to fight for what they believe in and continue to be innovative.

Civil Rights group #NotInMyName, which has thrown its weight behind Makate over the years, says it hopes that the new offer that Vodacom will make will be worth the 47-year-old’s work.

“We applaud him for seeing this case through and fighting hard to make sure that his intellectual property is rewarded,” says the organisation’s Themba Masango.

Masango says what is unfolding now with this matter goes to show that once you believe in something, don’t give up on it cause you know its worth.

EFF leader, Julius Malema, has called on Vodacom to take full responsibility and pay Makate what is due to him.

He has warned the cellphone giant against bullying the inventor.

“What started as a simple transactional dispute between two parties has now become a national irritation because they think they can bully him,” he says.

Malem has labelled Vodacom’s decision to approach the highest court in the land as unnecessary.




Written by: Lindiwe Mpanza

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