“In what the Royal Family regards as a violation of privacy‚ the sales agent phoned His Majesty and addressed him by his name. In the Zulu culture‚ it is highly disrespectful for anyone to address His Majesty by his first name,” said Prince Thulani.After a brief education from the King himself, Sithole could not have been more apologetic. King Zwelithini went on to complain about MiWay’s incessant, irritating phonecalls. He said that these had even interrupted his recent meetings with President Jacob Zuma. The conversation even ended on a pleasant note, with the King blessing the young sales representative. The PR blunder had been rescued! Except not, because shortly afterward, of course, the conversation had leaked to the media.
“Though the employee was remorseful after His Majesty had reprimanded him‚ we are disappointed that instead of making a formal apology‚ MiWay insurance leaked this audio clip to the members of the public.”The leaked recording is in clear violation of the Protection of Private Information (POPI) Act. In a statement, the royal family declared that they would be lodging a complaint with advocate Pansy Tlakula, the Information Regulator. The Information Regulator is mandated to enforce compliance with the POPI Act. Tlakula has noted the recent reports. If King Zwelithini hadn’t given his consent to MiWay to process his personal information, then the call was surely unlawful. The POPI Act is clear.
“The owner of the information must consent to the processing of his or her personal information,” said Tlakula. “That’s the first thing. We don’t know if the King gave permission to MiWay for the processing of his personal information.”
“If you do approach a person, for a direct marketing of goods and services‚ you have to do that with their consent,” she said. She went on to state that despite certain sections of POPIA not yet being operative‚ ‘the Regulator intends to proactively engage MiWay with regards to the processes and measures they have put in place to comply with the conditions for lawful processing of personal information as prescribed in POPIA.’MiWay is currently investigating the situation, and will respond to our queries as soon as possible.