Vodacom vandals arrested

Vodacom confirms that arrests have been made in connection with the theft, destruction of property and assault that took place at its Mall of the North store.

Vodacom has welcomed the arrests made in connection with the theft, destruction of property and assault that took place in a Vodacom store at the Mall of the North in Polokwane, Limpopo on Sunday.

This, after a group claiming to be Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) supporters allegedly vandalised the store and assaulted three women, apparently in protest of an image shown at a Vodacom event last week. A store in Makhado in Limpopo was also vandalised.

"Vodacom will continue to co-operate with the law enforcement agencies on this and a number of other criminal cases that have been opened to ensure that the rule of law is upheld. Vodacom reiterates its unequivocal condemnation for resorting to violence as an instrument for resolving conflict," the group said in a statement.

"The safety and security of employees and customers remains a primary concern of Vodacom."

On Tuesday, Vodacom and the EFF said in a joint statement that they had met and resolved their issues, which related to comments and slides presented at a recent Vodacom event by Corruption Watch chairperson, Mavuso Msimang, and the subsequent unrest.

Msimang gave the keynote address at the Vodacom Journalist of the Year awards last week, and reportedly showed an image of EFF leaders Julius Malema and Floyd Shivambu as "abusers of democracy".

"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 groups said.

"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."

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