Vodacom Group must pay a former employee for inventing a popular calling service after earlier claiming an ex-chief executive officer was responsible, according to a Constitutional Court ruling.
The former white CEO of vodacom called Nkosana Makate a disgruntled employee when he fought for his idea #PleaseCallMe
— I am An African (@Uncle_JayB) April 26, 2016
Kenneth Makate suggested the idea behind “Please Call Me” to Vodacom’s product-development team in 2000, and the concept was immediately taken up, the Johannesburg court judgement shows. About 140 000 customers made use of the service on its first day in operation, and it “continues to be a huge success”, according to court documents.
Vodacom former chief executive Alan Knott-Craig was wrongly credited with the innovation, which allowed customers with no balance on their mobile phones to alert someone for free with the SMS message: “Please Call Me,” the ruling showed.
“We are aware of the Constitutional Court ruling and are currently studying its contents,” Vodacom spokesperson Byron Kennedy said by e-mail.
It’s generally impossible for the little guy when he’s up against big business, so it’s great when the system’s on your side. #PleaseCallMe
— Maps Maponyane (@MapsMaponyane) April 26, 2016
Vodacom have 30 days to start compensation negotiations with Makate, the court ruled. The shares reversed gains in Johannesburg, before recovering to trade 0.3% higher at R167 as of 11.26am local time. – Bloomberg