Protesters start to disperse at Vodacom HQ in Midrand

Nkosana Makate (Tshepo Kekana/Gallo)
Nkosana Makate (Tshepo Kekana/Gallo)

The roughly 200 protesters who congregated outside Vodacom’s closed head offices in Midrand to show their support for Please Call Me Inventor Nkosana Makate have started to disperse.  

Vodacom spokesperson Byron Kennedy said in an afternoon update that it would continue to monitor the situation. Vodacom chose to shut its campus and retail stores ahead of the protests. 

"Naturally the safety and security of staff and customers remains of utmost importance to Vodacom," said Kennedy earlier in the day.   

The protest came after the ANC Liliesleaf Farm Branch and members of the Please Call Me Movement on Wednesday held a joint media briefing, saying that Makate has not been offered fair compensation by the mobile communications group. 

The ANC Liliesleaf Farm Branch said in a statement on Thursday that the decision by Vodacom to shut the campus was "nothing but a ploy by Vodacom aimed at avoiding [facing] those who accuse Vodacom of bad faith".

The branch said it was waiting for Vodacom's response to its demand that it offer a "reasonable compensation" to Makate.

"We still call on Vodacom to open negotiations with Mr. Makate and work towards an acceptable settlement in compliance with the judgement of the Constitutional Court."

Kennedy, meanwhile, said Vodacom was ready to pay Makate a "substantial amount" and had fully complied with an order of the Constitutional Court. 

* This article was last updated at 15:30. 

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