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Minister deletes tweet attacking Vodacom

The minister’s original tweet was in response to a Vodacom reply on Twitter.
Communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams. Picture: GCIS

Communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams appears to have deleted a tweet in which she told Vodacom to “shut up”, accusing the mobile operator of a “poor PR stunt” related to its “settlement” with former employee Nkosana Makate.

TalkCentral reported on Monday morning that the minister had taken to Twitter to lay into Vodacom’s “settlement” with Nkosana, who claims to have invented the “please call me” service.

“Please Call Me” allows Vodacom customers to send a free text message requesting a call back from another party.

“Just shut up Vodacom and do the right thing,” Ndabeni-Abrahams tweeted.”‘Talk to Makate’ instead of this poor PR stunt. Don’t talk to us until you have reached a settlement with him and his team.”

Read: Vodacom pays ex-worker for ‘Please Call Me’ idea after deadlock

Please Call Me inventor: ‘I haven’t agreed on anything with Vodacom’

Despite attempting to justify the tweet by responding to users’ criticism of it, it appears the minister eventually decided to delete the message instead. By mid-afternoon on Monday, Twitter reported the tweet as “unavailable”, though her responses to other users remain on the social media site.

Twitter user Tando Ntjuna responded to the (now-deleted) tweet, saying the minister’s tone was “inappropriate” for a cabinet minister and “as the political principle (sic) for telecommunications in SA, the changes in the sector are literally YOUR responsibility now”. Ndabeni-Abrahams responded: “I again apologies (sic) that I used a tone that you do not like.”

‘Stand by Nkosana’

The minister’s original tweet was in response to a Vodacom reply on Twitter to a tweet from Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi. Lesufi tweeted on Saturday: “We need to stand by Nkosana ‘Please Call Me’ against this bully called @Vodacom.”

Lesufi continued: “Pay him by month end or face the wrath of the nation. How dare you even disrespect court decisions #VodaPayHim.”

Vodacom’s official Twitter account then replied to Lesufi: “A decision on reasonable compensation payable to Mr Makate, based on the Con Court Order, was recently made by Vodacom Group CEO. This decision has been communicated to Mr Makate and his attorneys. Claims that Vodacom is disrespecting decision of courts is false & ill-informed.”

This response then prompted Ndabeni-Abrahams’ angry reply.

On Saturday, TechCentral reported that Makate had rejected a settlement tabled by Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub, describing the amount offered by the operator as “shocking and an insult”.

Posting on his Facebook page after Vodacom revealed on Friday evening that it had settled the dispute by agreeing to “reasonable compensation”, Makate said: “I would like to make it very clear that I have not agreed anything with Vodacom. The amount that the CEO has determined is shocking and an insult.”

Makate continued: “I am currently being advised by my legal team on remedies available to me. Moreover, Vodacom has not apologised for their despicable conduct for the past 18 years as found by the constitutional court.”

After a lengthy and costly legal battle, the constitutional court found that Makate had invented the service while in the employ of Vodacom and directed the company’s CEO — currently Joosub — to determine an amount of “reasonable compensation” that should be paid to Makate should the parties be unable to reach an agreement.

Vodacom said that Joosub received oral and written representations from both parties after the negotiations deadlocked, with oral hearing taking place in early October 2018.

“The group CEO has met with the legal representatives of Mr Makate and Vodacom to convey his decision and determination. In the spirit of the confidentiality agreement both parties signed as part of the negotiating process, Vodacom will not disclose the amount set by the group CEO, as reasonable compensation. Vodacom considers the matter as finally settled and closed,” Vodacom said.

It added that the compensation amount determined by Joosub will be transferred to Makate “as soon as we have the banking account details”.  — (c) 2019 NewsCentral Media

This article originally featured on TechCentral here

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COMMENTS   12

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STELLA LOST HER GROOVE!!!!

Is this really an area for politicians to wade into? Politicians main function is surely to form policy for activities in the public sphere and ensure that taxpayers money are spent to the benefit of the public as a whole.

This is a private law matter between an individual and a company, why does Lesufi and this woman need to wade in and give their two cents as well?

these people underestimate the “power” of the cellular companies ( and for that matter other big business)…..sadly VODACOM will probably suck up to them.

It is disturbing that these people not only live among us but that they are ( typically ANC cadre appointed ) public officials getting paid by taxpayers money and interfering in private matters instead of doing their work.

Lesufi will never pass by an opportunity to air an uninformed opinion.

What in gods name does Lesufi and this clown have to do with this case. Ridiculous from our supposed ministers, what would these people be doing if there wasn’t politics where you can be under qualified, paid a fortune and do very little….not many alternatives.

No tweets about releasing spectrum which old Cyrill announced a while back tho, much more productive to zone in on this random little matter…embarrassing.

Vodacom is seriously under-estimating the degree of public anger and resentment they have self-created for themselves over decades of treating their consumers like dirt.

If they – and the pundits here also – think this is still only a single issue about the unethical treatment of the Inventor, they’re seriously misreading the unfolding development of this situation.

The minister was right to delete her tweet. But there should be little doubt she achieved her intention. She got her message across to the party that needs to pay real attention here.

Please-this has nothing to do with the “minister”. Her attitude is purely hostile anti WMC.So far her “ministring” has been a pathetic brainless disaster. She is in same league as the PP.

She shoud resign for her bias statement, period

Are we paying her through our taxes to sit on Twitter all day?

Professional, dignified…sheer class. Should have been a member of the Swiss Cabinet. What an utter grob!

No doubt an odium of ANC ministers have cut a deal with Mr Makate to extort as much as possible from Vodacom. Only problem is that they do not come cheap.

End of comments.

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