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#PleaseCallMe Movement plans mass campaign against Vodacom

The movement wants Vodacom to urgently compensate Nkosana Makate who came up with the idea for the 'Please Call Me' service back in 2000 while still employed by the company.

Panyaza Lesufi addressing the media about the Please Call Me Movement. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Please Call Me Movement has revealed plans for a mass campaign against cell phone giant Vodacom which is embroiled in a legal battle with the man who came up with the idea of the SMS service.

The movement has threatened to start a boycott of Vodacom’s products and lobby government and international companies for support.

It wants the telecommunication giant to urgently compensate Nkosana Makate who came up with the idea for the 'Please Call Me' service back in 2000 while still employed by Vodacom.

The company has been given until 10 am on Thursday morning to sign a deal with Makate.

Panyaza Lesufi, who has come out as a staunch supporter of Makate and the Please Call Me Movement, says the original plan was to “shut down” Vodacom’s head offices in Midrand on Thursday. But he says they’ve learnt the company has already organised a safety plan.

Lesufi has been served with a cease and desist letter by Vodacom in which he’s instructed to stop making defamatory comments around this matter.

But in a defiant move, he’s called on South Africans to boycott the company.

“Don’t attend Vodacom-sponsored activities and we’re also calling on our people to terminate your contracts with Vodacom.”

Meanwhile, the protracted legal battle between Makate and Vodacom continues.

WATCH: Lesufi urges public to boycott Vodacom

'DO THE RIGHT THING'

The Please Call Me Movement has called on South Africans to put more pressure on Vodacom to “do the right thing and pay the inventor of the SMS service the compensation due to him”.

Lesufi says they have never encouraged any violence.

“This tendency where people associate us with violence when we protest is very wrong and dangerous. It’s a stereotype that must be condemned.”

The movement’s Modise Setoaba says they are simply demanding Vodacom to pay Makate before 10 am on Thursday or face boycotts.

“We’re saying Vodacom must pay Makate. It’s the right thing to do.”

Setoaba says they have already received support from the Black First Land First and Economic Freedom Fighters.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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