News / South Africa / Protests

Gopolang Moloko
2 minute read
31 Jan 2019
11:50 am

UPDATE: #PleaseCallMeMovement protests close Vodaworld

Gopolang Moloko

BLF has joined the 'Please Call Me Movement' in calling for Vodacom to pay the inventor R70 billion.

Please Call Me movement. Image: @mashadi_kekana/twitter

Vodaworld in Midrand has been closed for the day after hundreds of protesters from both the “Please Call Me Movement” and Black First Land First (BLF) descended on the Vodacom headquarters.

The “Please Call Me Movement” has threatened to boycott Vodacom, and gathered outside Vodaworld on Thursday Morning to demand the network pay Nkosana Makate by 10am.

The group was joined by Black First Land First (BLF) supporters and marched in unison, demanding compensation for the Please Call Me inventor.

According to the group, some on social media have already committed to moving from the network provider in a show of support for Makate.

 

Makate has welcomed the support and intends to take the matter on judicial review following a deadlock with Vodacom on the amount he should be compensated.

BLF issued a statement, stating they joined the movement to support Makate and claiming “white monopoly capital is founded on the sweat and blood of black people, like Makate.”

“Vodacom must pay Makate the R70 billion owed to him or face the wrath of the people. BLF will continue to stand with Makate until Vodacom pays him every cent,” the statement continues.

One of Makate’s supporters, Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, has defied Vodacom’s instructions that he should refrain from commenting on the matter.

The MEC received a lawyer’s letter this week after he told Vodacom that they had until the end of the month to pay Makate or face the wrath of the nation.

A cease and desist order was sent to him by lawyers representing Vodacom. His response was: “You can’t bully me or silence my support to the weak and vulnerable. This is a democratic country and I have the right to express my views without fear. The apartheid regime detained me without trial. I am not scared.”

He shared the lawyer’s letter on Twitter, which warned him to desist from making “false and defamatory comments of, and concerning” [Vodacom] in relation to litigation with Makate.

This comes after the network operator announced they had an offer for Makate and would compensate him for his invention. He took to social media, labeling the offer ridiculous and insulting following a decade long battle for compensation.

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.