It takes investors with deep pockets to champion the rights of the little folk.
Judgment in the Constitutional Court case of Vodacom vs Kenneth Makate, handed down on 26 April, has been applauded as a victory for the small man, a classic case of David versus Goliath.
True – and also misleading. This David would never have reached South Africa’s judicial battlefield had he not had the backing of some serious financial musclemen. It was Makate, a junior Vodacom employee at the time, who conceived the Please Call Me service back in 2000 – an app that has subsequently raked in billions for Vodacom, and other mobile phone operators, here and abroad. All Makate asked was for a slice of the cake, something he had negotiated upfront with his seniors at Vodacom when he introduced them to his idea.