The Please Call Me Movement and politicians have threatened to shut down Vodacom on 31 January if the company does not pay Nkosana Makate an amount he agrees to for his role in launch of the Please Call Me.
The movement, which claims to be against corporate bullying and consumer injustice, said Vodacom owes Makate R70 billion for his idea.
“Join us as we will be shutting down Vodaworld in pursuit of justice for Nkosana Makate,” a recent flyer reads.
Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has jumped on this movement, and said on Twitter that people must stand by “Nkosana ‘Please Call Me’ Makate” against “this bully called Vodacom”.
Lesufi said they will push to shut down Vodacom if it does not pay Makate, adding that “if they haven’t resolved the issue by 31 January, we are going to use all means possible”.
The threats come after Vodacom stated earlier this month that its CEO had determined the amount of reasonable compensation payable to Makate for his Please Call Me idea.
Makate responded to Vodacom’s statement, saying he has not agreed to any payment and that “the amount that the CEO has determined is shocking and an insult”.
Vodacom retorted, explaining that the Constitutional Court order which ordered it to pay Makate does not require him to agree to the amount set by their CEO.
Vodacom said it considers the matter closed, and that Makate’s funds will be transferred as soon as they have his banking details.
Vodacom continued to face attacks from politicians and the lobby group, however, leading to the shutdown threats.
Speaking to MyBroadband about the threats of a shutdown, Vodacom said it had a discussion with the convenor of the Please Call Me Movement on 7 December 2018.
“Vodacom respects the right of every South African to freedom of expression and to hold legal and peaceful protests. As a responsible corporate, and in the normal course of business, we have continuity plans in place to manage any eventuality,” said Vodacom.
“We would like to reiterate that we have fully complied with the order of the Constitutional Court and that we are ready and willing to pay Mr Makate the amount of money due to him, soonest. The ball is now in Mr Makate’s court.”
It was reported earlier this month by TimesLive that Vodacom offered Makate R49 million, but a source said he rejected this amount.
“He is now taking legal advice and will take further legal action,” the source said in the report.
The flyer below details the planned shutdown, which is set to take place at Vodaworld on 31 January.