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Court finds Vodacom must offer far more than R47M to ’Please call me’ inventor

In a victory judgment for “Please Call Me” (PCM) inventor Nkosana Makate the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria has found that he was shortchanged by Vodacom and that the cellphone giant must go back to the drawing board to come up with a suitable amount.

The court gave Vodacom’s CEO Shameel Joosub one month in which to recalculate what is owed to Makate, using the guidelines issued by the court. Judge Wendy Hughes made it clear that the calculations used by Joosub earlier in offering Makate R47 million, for what the judge called a brilliant invention, was by far too conservative.

While the judge said Vodacom was in a better position than the court to calculate the true worth of the invention, she gave certain guidelines of what must be taken into account when the amount due to him is recalculated.

Judge Hughes ordered that Makate is entitled to be paid 5% of the total voice revenue generated from the PCM product – starting from March 2001 to March 2021 and not only for five years, as earlier calculated by Joosub.

She ordered that the total voice revenue must include PCM revenue derived from prepaid, contract (both in bundle and out of bundle) and interconnect fees as set out in Vodacom’s annual financial statements.

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