Nkosana Makate, who has had a bruising battle with Vodacom over payment for the ‘Please Call Me’ idea he developed about 20 years ago, has issued an apology to the company's CEO Shameel Joosub.

In a letter he issued on Twitter, Makate apologised for retweeting a cartoon depicting Joosub with his knee on Makate's neck, notes TimesLIVE.

The initial tweet came in the wake of the killing of George Floyd in the US, who was killed by a police officer who knelt on his neck.

Makate said he was retracting a statement he made on that tweet that Vodacom must get its knee off his neck.

Makate reportedly said the retweet was borne out of his frustration concerning his perception of the failure by Vodacom to settle his claim fairly.

‘This is a matter which has caused me considerable pain as it has been dragging on for 20 years of my life,’ he said.

However, he said he accepted that the ‘knee on the neck’ metaphor, due to being associated with the killing of Floyd, was an inappropriate method to vent his frustration.

‘I accordingly apologise to Mr Joosub and Vodacom and have taken steps to retract the retweet. I also share sentiments of the Black Lives Matter movement and apologise if it seemed as if I had been unsensitive to such plight,’ he said in the letter.

Full TimesLIVE report