January 14 2018 – NINETEEN years later former Vodacom employee, Nkosana Makate is yet to get paid for inventing the widely popular ‘Please Call Me’ while he was still working for Cellphone company Vodacom resulting in a social media backlash against the Company.
According to Sunday Times‚ Vodacom announced it was paying “reasonable compensation” to Makate‚ who invented ‘Please Call Me’ in 2000 while he was an employee of the company.
Bloomberg reported on January 11 2019 that Vodacom spokesperson Byron Kennedy said the matter between the two parties was “finally settled and closed”.
Makate responded to the reports by clarifying that he had made no arrangement with Vodacom and that the amount the company had offered was “shocking and insulting”.
I wud like to make it very clear that there is no agreement with Vodacom. The amnt that the CEO came with is shocking & an insult. I’m taking advise 4rm my legal team on remedies. Vodacom Pays Ex-Worker for `Please Call Me’ Idea After Deadlock – Bloomberg https://t.co/CFWLqoXbqF— Nkosana Makate (@makate_nkosana) January 11, 2019
Makate’s response caught the attention of many on Twitter‚ including Gauteng MEC for Education Panyaza Lesufi‚ who threatened to terminate his relationship with the mobile network operator.
I’ve lost respect for your brand. You even use an intern to respond to such a serious matter. I am terminating all the relationships I have with @Vodacom even if it means having a new number. You’re a disgrace and greedy https://t.co/hBTaLNLmee— Panyaza Lesufi (@Lesufi) January 13, 2019
Why did it take you so long to table the offer??? You guys are SA’s biggest service provider in the tellecom industry and that simply means you making billions.#PayNkosanaMakate what he deserves and stop playing games!
Nkosana Makate has used millions in legal fees he doesnt have, lets use the power of the media to supress vodacom to pay the son of the soil #pay_makateforhis invention #pleasecallme— Temple of Karma♇♏🦂 (@ToK47195404) January 13, 2019
We are getting ready to #BoycottVodacom and #ShutdownVodacom in the wake of Vodacom’s continued arrogance and unwillingness to pay #PleaseCallMe inventor, Mr. Nkosana Makate his R7 Billion.— Sibusiso Radebe (@MKCadre) January 13, 2019