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ANC's Liliesleaf branch: 'Makate support to seek justice from corporate bullies'

A group of people under the banner of the please call me movement, demonstrated outside Vodaworld on Thursday demanding the cellphone giant pay Makate R70 billion for his invention.

A group of supporters at Vodaworld in support of Nkosana Makate, who came up with the 'Please call me' idea. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – An African National Congress (ANC) branch in Midrand which at in the forefront of the Please Call Me compensation campaign says it is not expecting any money from the man who came up with the idea for the SMS service, Nkosana Makate.

A group of people under the banner of the Please Call Me Movement demonstrated outside Vodaworld on Thursday, demanding that the cellphone giant pay Makate R70 billion for his idea.

But Vodacom has labelled the demand as "irrational" and will now wait for Makate to make the next move as he aims for a judicial review of his compensation deal.

Benson Motsumi, from the ANC's Liliesleaf branch in Midrand, says their support for Makate is purely to seek justice for those who have been bullied by big corporates.

He says organisers and supporters are not expecting any cut from the compensation money.

“We can categorically indicate that that’s utter rubbish. We’re here for one thing and one thing only - pay Makate, end of the story.”

Motsumi has acknowledged that Makate urgently needs the money to pay for his legal costs over the many years.

Meanwhile, litigation funder Chris Schuman, who helped Makate with his legal battle, has told Radio 702 that he was offered R49 million which he advised him to accept.

‘MISGUIDED’

In 2016, the Constitutional Court ruled that the two parties agree on a reasonable amount to pay Makate for his invention.

Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub then decided on an undisclosed settlement figure when the parties deadlocked but Makate has rejected it.

Vodacom and Makate are set to square off in court again, with Makate hoping to take the company’s offer, which he says is an insult, on judicial review.

The company's Nkateko Nyoka says the Please Call Me Movement is being misguided.

“Vodacom has always been willing to compensate Mr Makate.”

The telecommunications giant is adamant it has abided by the Constitutional Court’s order and is not in the wrong.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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