Man to Become a Billionaire as Court Orders Telecom Giant to Pay Him N1.2trn, he First Sued Them 14 Years Ago

Man to Become a Billionaire as Court Orders Telecom Giant to Pay Him N1.2trn, he First Sued Them 14 Years Ago

  • Nkosana Makate, the developer of Vodacom's "Please Call Me" service, secured a victory in his protracted legal battle with the mobile giant
  • The North Gauteng High Court ordered that Makate should get 5% of the total voice revenue generated by the service
  • The ex-Vodacom employee previously rejected a N1.2 trillion settlement offered after a Constitutional Court judgement in 2016
  • Locals praised Makate's resilience ahead of the outcome, with some expressing dismay over Vodacom's impending appeal

A long-drawn court battle between mobile network communications company Vodacom and the originator of its "Please Call Me" micro-text service Nkosana Makate has concluded, for now.

A landmark ruling in the Gauteng High Court in Tshwane on Tuesday, February 8, determined that Makate qualifies to get 5% of the total voice revenue yielded by the service in the time from March 2001 to March 2021.

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Man to become billionaire after winning court case against telecomm giant, to be paid N1.2trn
The 'Please Call Me' founder has won his latest court battle. Image: Tshepo/ Sowetan @AfricaFactsZone/ Twitter.
Source: UGC

The service launched in February 2001, with Makate as its brainchild.

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Since then, the former Vodacom employee, whose protracted legal battle with the cellphone giant stretches back nearly 14 years after the two parties reached an impasse on the former's claim over the service, cited previously that the creation had generated about N1.9 trillion in revenue.

This means the stake, which the presiding officer in the matter, Judge Wendy Hughes, has ordered to be reworked following the N1.2 trillion offer Vodacom tabled and which Makate subsequently rejected in 2019, could be considerably higher.

Vodacom offer to be reviewed

Makate described the judgment as a huge comfort after the court also determined he is entitled to 27% of the income generated by the return of calls sent through the service.

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Shameel Joosub, Vodacom's chief executive, has been ordered to apply the eighteen-year period which Makate claims Vodacom has benefitted from his invention when recalculating the amount due to him, according to an IOL report.

Joosub is required to finalise the finding within 30 days of the issuing of the said order. However, the company has no plans to take the judgement lying down and plans to file an appeal, News24 reported.

"We are adamant that negotiations between the company and [Makate] were sincere, which was shown in the Constitutional Court's order in April 2016," Joosub stated.


@Gino Mb said:

"Government and lawyers will be happy. About 40% of that will go to SARS. Lawyers will take a big chunk of that. Makate should still get a decent amount though. Vodacom should just pay and get it over with."

@Patrick Khoza added:

"Thumbs up, the guy has been resilient. I love it when a previously disadvantaged person prospers."

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@S'busiso Mzizi offered:

"Some of you here were saying he is crazy, he won't get more than N1.2 trillion . Well, I guess the guy knew that is just a drop in the ocean!"

@Lucky Nkuna mentioned:

"By the time he gets that payout, he'll be receiving tons of Please Call Me's."

Court tells restaurant to pay man millions of naira for serving him cleaning liquid

Meanwhile, previously reported that a restaurant had been ordered by court to pay N3.9 billion for serving a man cleaning liquid instead of water.

According to, Cronnon was enjoying himself at a Marion County Cracker Barrel when a waitress served him a mixture of water and Eco-San, a commercial-grade bleach.

The minor mishap cost the man his health as he developed gastrointestinal issues like regular cramping, bloating, diarrhoea and reflux plain shortly after the April 2014 incident.

Following his hospital visits and treatments, Cronnon moved to court to sue the establishment and actually won the case.


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