Black First Land First (BLF) has gotten involved in the '#PleaseCallMeMovement', demanding that Vodacom fork out a hefty payment to the inventor.
This comes after hundreds of people protested outside the Vodacom offices as part of a broader movement threatening to boycott the service provider.
It has been reported that Vodacom had previously offered to pay Makate, the inventor of the Please Call Me, Nkosana Makate, R49 million but he rejected the offer, calling it "ridiculous".
BLF demanded that Vodacom pay Makate R70 billion, or else face more pressure from protesters. Their call was echoed by several citizens on social people, who promised to switch to other networks if Vodacom did not hand over the money.
BLF slammed Vodacom in a public statement, saying, " "white monopoly capital is founded on the sweat and blood of black people, like Makate."
According to The Citizen, Gauteng MEC for education, Panyaza Lesufi, also voiced support for Makate. He later received a cease and desist letter from Vodacom's representatives, instructing him to stop talking about the matter. Lesufi flouted the order, and has continued to post on social media about the situation.
Makate has reportedly been in a battle with Vodacom over payment for his invention for more than 10 years. However, in 2016 the constitutional court ruled in his favour.
The situation is a complex one, however, since MTN also claims that they in fact invented and patented the Please Call Me first.
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