Vodacom and EFF leadership say the matter has now been resolved after the two parties met to discuss the keynote address at the 2018 Vodacom awards by Corruption Watch chairperson Mavuso Msimang.
On Sunday a group of protesters wearing EFF T-shirts vandalized a Vodacom store in the Mall of the North in Polokwane, Limpopo. There were also reports of an incident in Makhado, as well as reports of an incident at Greenstone mall on Monday.
The protests followed a lecture by Msimang at the Vodacom event which included an image depicting EFF leaders Julius Malema and Floyd Shivambu as “abusers of freedom”.
“In the meeting, the parties discussed the matter in detail and have resolved the issue. Vodacom acknowledged that it is politically neutral and it doesn’t influence party political positions in any way. Vodacom and EFF appreciate that the matter could have been handled differently to avoid the misunderstanding that occurred,” the EFF and Vodacom said in a joint statement.
EFF met with Vodacom Managment this afternoon. Full statement to follow pic.twitter.com/DECYKzRy49
— Economic Freedom Fighters (@EFFSouthAfrica) December 3, 2018
The parties said they encourage the right of freedom of speech and the free circulation of ideas.
The EFF and Vodacom also committed to engage on policy issues of mutual interest and considered the matter now closed.
Meanwhile, the South African Human Rights Commission says it supports the police’s criminal investigation against people purported to be members of the EFF who allegedly stormed and damaged the Vodacom outlet in Polokwane.
“A constitutional democracy such as ours should not tolerate violence and/or looting and vandalism as a response to utterances that are not acceptable to one group or another in our society. There are appropriate legal and constitutional mechanisms which can be used in order to express such dislikes,” SAHRC spokesperson Gail Smith said.
Smith added that the commission is of the view that political parties as well as the population at large, should ensure that we all use the legal and constitutional mechanisms at our disposal in addressing grievances.
Fighters don’t be surprised when @Vodacom gathers journalists to strategies on how to deal with EFF. It just means our fight is right where it belongs, in the belly of the beast: #WhiteMonopolyCapitalism
We would not be doing well if they were not all uniting against us #Asijiki
— Mbuyiseni Ndlozi (@MbuyiseniNdlozi) November 30, 2018
Eff supporters have vandalized a Vodacom store at the Mall of the North in Polokwane. They are protesting against an image of Julias Malema and Floyd Shivambu captioned “abusers of democracy”, shown at the Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards #eff #Vodacom #sabcnews pic.twitter.com/r43Ngz8omA