Saturday , April 17 2021

Vodacom: Our final product, Please call, was different from the idea of ​​Makate



Vodacom says that the final version of his Call Call service was "different" to the idea that he was presented to him by the former employee Nkosana Makate.

The telecommunications company responds to the saga of PleaseCallMe that has dominated the headlines during the last weeks in a full-page ad on Mail & Guardian Friday.

In the ad, the company's CEO: Corporate Affairs for Vodacom Group, Takalani Netshitenzhe gave his version of the long saga.

Although it has been under way for almost 20 years, the company has suffered fire during the last few weeks after having said that the issue had been solved and considered closed.

Makate took the social media to say: "I would like to make it clear that I have not agreed to anything with Vodacom. The amount that the CEO has determined is shocking and insulting." He said at the time he was consulting his legal team about the remedies available to him.

During a conference call on the issue on Friday, Vodacom spokesman, Byron Kennedy, confirmed that Makate would be requesting a judicial review of the offer Vodacom has made.

But Vodacom has not yet received his request, said Nkate Nyoka, general director of the legal and regulatory system. "We are waiting for your application. Once we receive the application, we will usually understand the reasons for its review."

Based on the understanding of Vodacom, the Constitutional Court ordered both parties to negotiate and agree on an agreement. However, in the event of a deadlock in the negotiations, an intermittent interceptor – the general director of the Shameel Joosub group – would make a definitive decision on the offer, explains Nyoka.

Makate should approach the courts and show if there are irregularities in the process that followed Joosub or that was "manifestly unfair" in the decision, he added.

Several public figures have come to beat Makate, including Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi and Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, while a #PleaseCallMe Movement has also appeared. The movement, along with the ANC Liliesleaf Farm Branch, filed a protest outside the company's headquarters in Midrand on Thursday, which forced Vodacom to close its doors for the day.

It is not the same

But, Netshitenzhe said on Friday that the final product of Vodacom was different from the one offered by Makate.

"The Please Call Me Question between Mr. Maka and Vodacom began in the beginning of the year 2000 when he approached his supervisor with an idea that he changed in a" Call to Call "service. After To make a publication of the idea within the company, Please Call Me was launched as a free subscription service, so it did not generate direct revenue.

"However, before launching the product, Vodacom had to assess the idea of ​​technical feasibility and commercial viability, and the final product was different from the idea presented by Mr. Makate.

"The initial loading plan for the service was abandoned by the company. Please Call Me was launched the month after MTN released its version called" Call ".

"Ari Kahn, who consulted MTN, created the technology" Call "in 2000 and the patent office SA granted Call Me a Kahn patent and MTN on May 22 January 2001, "said Netshitenzhe.

He said that a legal dispute took place when Vodacom rejected Makete's compensation claims on the basis that he believed that there was no agreement between the two parties.

"In addition, regarding company practice, Vodacom had never paid a member of the staff to get an idea and reward outstanding performance that included the introduction of innovations by staff members through the annual awards of the General Director ".

She said that, after various legal affairs, the Constitutional Court eventually decided that there was an agreement between Vodacom and Makate, but there was no clear agreement as to the amount that would have to pay for the idea and that "reasonable compensation" should be negotiated between the parties. The court ruled that, in the event of a deadlock, the CEO of the Vodacom Group must determine the final amount.

The CEO of Vodacom Group, Shameel Joosub, did this and the company considered closing the issue. This amount is confidential in terms of a confidentiality agreement signed by both parties.

"Accordingly, Vodacom is willing and willing to pay Mr Makate," said Netshitenzhe.

"However, Mr Makate's lawyers have reported that they have been instructed by Mr. Makate to make the determination of the Director General on the judicial review and this is where we are now."

He said that Vodacom was as great as to admit that he was not always right.

"And where we are wrong, we humiliate and offer our apologies as we did in this saga on several occasions," he said.


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