Protesters have started arriving at Vodaworld in Midrand to protest Vodacom’s supposed reluctance to pay the inventor of the Please Call Me, Kenneth Nkosana Makate.
The arrival of protesters has been confirmed by Vodacom executive head of media relations, Byron Kennedy.
“Protesters have started arriving at the Vodacom campus in Midrand. The retail stores inside the campus have been closed for the day,” Kennedy told Hypertext.
The exec says that the safety of Vodacom staff and customers is of the utmost importance and it has measures in place to deal with any scenario that may occur today.
The Please Call Me Movement had demanded that Vodacom reach an amicable settlement with Makate by 10:00 this morning. The movement was demanding that Vodacom pay Makate R70 billion.
A report by TechCentral suggests that Makate was offered R49 million by Vodacom which he rejected.
“We remain ready and willing to pay Mr Makate a substantial amount having fully complied with the Constitutional Court order on the matter,” Kennedy said.
The Please Call Me Movement is not backing down from this fight and neither is Gauteng MEC for education Panyaza Lesufi who openly challenged Vodacom yesterday.
The challenge came after Vodacom sent the MEC a cease and desist order pertaining to the planned protest action today.
Whether Vodacom agrees to pay the R70 billion the movement is asking remains to be seen but we don’t think it’s going to happen.
While Vodacom does have a market capitalisation of R220 billion that’s not money it can just fish out of its account. Group revenue for Q4 2018 also only amounts to R23 billion so either Vodacom is going to have to make some hard choices in order to pay Makate or the inventor won’t be paid the R70 billion the movement is demanding.
Either way, Vodacom is stuck between a rock and a hard place right now and we wouldn’t want to be Shameel Joosub today.