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Vodacom beefs up security over Please Call Me mass action threat

This despite the company serving organisers of the Vodaworld shutdown with a cease and desist letter to stop what it calls the incitement to invade their stores.

Picture: @Vodacom/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG – The plan by the Please Call Me Movement to shut down Vodacom’s head office in Midrand may have been called off for now but the cellphone giant is not leaving anything to chance.

The company is embroiled in a legal battle with its former employee Nkosana Makate over how much he should be paid for coming up with the idea for the 'Please Call Me' messaging function.

Makate has received support from the Please Call Movement and some politicians, who have given Vodacom until 10am on Thursday morning to pay him the amount he says is due to him.

The company has put security plans in place at its sites, while Joburg Metro Police plan to deploy officers to Vodaworld.

While the legal wrangling over how much Makate should be compensated drags on, his supporters are planning to intensify their campaign against Vodacom.

This despite the company serving organisers of the Vodaworld shutdown with a cease and desist letter to stop what it calls the incitement to invade their stores.

Makate came up with the idea for the Please call me service almost 20 years ago and in 2016 the Constitutional Court ruled that Vodacom pay him for the product.

But the two parties have failed to agree on the amount, with Makate dismissing Vodacom’s offer as an insult.

One of Makate’s supporters, Panyaza Lesufi, says the Please Call Me movement will lobby government departments to terminate their contracts with the service provider and even take the fight internationally.

The Please Call Me Movement has rejected Vodacom’s claims of incitement but has reiterated calls for a mass boycott of the company’s products and services.

WATCH: Lesufi urges public to boycott Vodacom

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)