Vodacom, South Africa’s largest cell community operator by subscriber base, will attraction a Supreme Courtroom of Enchantment ruling mandating it to pay Kenneth Makate, a former worker, R20 billion (~$1 billion) for inventing the favored Please Name Me service. The judgment quantity is 10% of Vodacom’s market capitalisation.
The Supreme Courtroom of Enchantment ruling ordered Vodacom to pay Kenneth Makate between 5% and seven.5% of the entire income generated by the Please Name Me service over 18 years plus curiosity.
“Vodacom is stunned and disenchanted with the judgment and can convey an software for depart to attraction earlier than the Constitutional Courtroom of South Africa, throughout the prescribed interval,” the corporate mentioned in a press release to the Johannesburg Inventory Alternate this morning.
Vodacom claimed solely R47 million (~$2.5 million) was as a consequence of Makate for inventing the Please Name Me service. The service permits customers to ship a textual content message free of charge, requesting recipients to name them.
Makate pitched the concept for the service to Vodacom in 2000 whereas he was nonetheless an worker and was promised compensation. The service was launched in 2001.
In 2007, just a few years after leaving Vodacom, Makate submitted a letter to Vodacom requesting compensation. Authorized tussles ultimately noticed the case delivered to the Constitutional Courtroom, which ordered the 2 events to barter a settlement in good religion. Makate rejected Vodacom’s preliminary provide of R47 million.
With Vodacom desiring to attraction the Supreme Courtroom of Enchantment’s judgment, the case, already one of many longest-running court docket instances in South Africa‘s authorized historical past, will drag on. Vodacom didn’t specify a particular date for its attraction.