Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has published legal letters of demand sent from Vodacom to him, demanding that he stop making “false and defamatory” comments against the mobile network.
The legal letter also instructed Lesufi to “desist from calling for and/or inciting the invasion and occupation of the Vodaworld store”.
Making “threats relating to the invasion and occupation” of any stores across the country was also listed among Vodacom’s complaints.
Lesufi shared the legal document on Twitter, along with a reply to Vodacom stating they can “bring it on”.
Bring it on @Vodacom ! I am NOT easily intimidated. 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!
The legal demand from Vodacom was addressed to Lesufi and Modise Setoaba, who is part of the “Please Call Me Movement”.
The movement is threatening to shut down Vodacom on 31 January if a settlement has not been reached. Lesufi has openly supported this call.
The movement, which claims to be against corporate bullying and consumer injustice, said Vodacom owes Makate R70 billion for his involvement in the rolling out of the Please Call Me service at Vodacom.
Its threats ramped up after Vodacom stated earlier this month that its CEO had determined the amount of reasonable compensation payable to Makate, as per a Constitutional Court order.
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 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.
“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,” said Vodacom.
It was reported earlier this month by TimesLive that Vodacom offered Makate R49 million, but a source said he rejected this amount.