Vodacom and the EFF have resolved their differences after members of the political party allegedly vandalised some of the network operator’s stores.
Their leadership teams met on Monday to discuss comments and images presented at a recent Vodacom event by Corruption Watch chair Mavuso Msimang, as well as the confusion that followed.
Msimang had depicted the party’s leaders, Julius Malema and Floyd Shivambu, as “abusers of democracy” during a keynote address at the Vodacom Journalist of the Year awards ceremony, Bloomberg reported on Monday.
Vodacom then had to shut stores after EFF members protested by vandalising Vodacom stores.
At its Mall of Africa franchise store in Johannesburg, women got assaulted and goods were stolen, Bloomberg said.
Images on Twitter showed people dressed in the EFF’s red berets and clothing entering stores and the damage caused in the aftermath of their leaving.
In their joint statement on Tuesday, Vodacom and the EFF said they had “discussed the matter and had managed to have the issue resolved”.
Vodacom said it had acknowledged it was politically neutral. However, they admitted that they could have handled the issue differently.
“Vodacom and EFF encourage the right of freedom of speech and the free circulation of ideas. The parties also committed to engage on policy issues of mutual interest and consider the matter to be closed,” they said.