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'Please call me' inventor speaks after Vodacom was ordered to pay him 18-years' revenue

Makate who is a former Vodacom employee is said to have conceptualized the 'Please Call Me' feature back in 2000.

Nkosana Makate

After South Africa's Court of Appeal issued a ruling compelling mobile telecommunications giant Vodacom to provide 'Please Call Me' inventor Nkosana Makate with a revised compensatory package, Makate shared his thoughts on the matter.

Speaking in a telephone interview with a South African media outlet, Makate expressed his satisfaction with the judgment, emphasising the significance of this development in his prolonged legal battle against the telecommunications company.

"I am thrilled with the judgment, it takes us a bit further and much closer to finality. It’s been a long time, the sacrifice has been huge, and a 15-year battle with a massive company like Vodacom is no child’s play," said Makate.

According to a court statement released on February 6, 2024, the South African Court of Appeal rejected Vodacom's appeal and instructed the company to formulate a new compensatory offer for Makate, taking into account his lengthy tenure at the company spanning over 18 years.


In its ruling, the court outlined that Makate should receive compensation ranging from 5 to 7.5 per cent of the total revenue generated from the 'Please Call Me' product between March 2001 and the date of the judgment.

The court also criticized Vodacom for its significant delay in addressing the matter and for withholding pertinent information until compelled by court order.

Despite the court's decision, Vodacom remains determined to contest the ruling and has expressed intentions to appeal the matter to the Constitutional Court of South Africa.

Makate, previously employed by Vodacom, is said to have conceptualized the 'Please Call Me' feature back in 2000.


His inspiration reportedly stemmed from personal challenges he faced while maintaining a long-distance relationship with his current spouse, leading him to devise the invention as a means to overcome their communication obstacles.

Legal proceedings commenced in 2008 when Makate initiated litigation against Vodacom, having previously attempted to address the issue by correspondence with the company in 2007, which yielded no resolution.



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