South Africa: 'Please Call Me' Inventor Wants U.S.$656 Million from Vodacom

Vodacom shop (file photo).
21 August 2019

Cape Town — The inventor of Vodacom's Please Call Me service, Nkosana Kenneth Makate, has refused a U.S.$3 million (R47 million) settlement offer from the cellular service provider in favour of an amount "owed" to him - U.S.$656 million (R10 billion), writes Times Live.

Makate, who filed papers at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria last week, said that even if the court ruled in favour of Vodacom, it would mark the end of his protracted legal battle with the cellular giant. "I don't have plans with the money as such, but there are many projects I've thought about venturing into. But if the court rules in favour of Vodacom, it will be the end of the road for me on this matter and I will take the amount the court decides on," Makate said.

According to 2Oceansvibe, Chris Schoeman, who met Makate in 2011 and helped fund his litigation costs, believes Makate is currently in serious financial jeopardy. During an interview on 702 he said that Makate refused to accept Vodacom's offer because he is technically "bankrupt" and owes many people a lot of money. Schoeman added Makate went on a spending spree after the Constitutional Court ruled in Makate's favour during 2016 when it ordered Vodacom to compensate him.

Makate's legal wrangle reached a pitch during January this year when protesters gathered outside Vodacom World in Midrand, Johannesburg demanding Makate be paid U.S.4.6 billion (R70 billion) for his involvement in the company's Please Call Me service.

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