Johannesburg - A court in the Democratic Republic of Congo
has ordered Vodacom Group [JSE:VOD] to pay at least $21m in unpaid fees to a
former consultant, Business Day newspaper said on Friday.
Vodacom, a unit of Britain's Vodafone, has been locked in a
long-standing dispute with its local partner in the DRC, Congolese Wireless
Network. Vodacom said in 2010 it was exploring options for the unit, which
could include a sale.
The consultant, who worked with Vodacom in its negotiations
in the DRC, had originally sued the company for a $40.8m "success
fee", Business Day said, adding the court awarded about
half of that.
Vodacom spokesperson Richard Boorman said the company had
not received any judgment.
“We would clearly have material objections to any judgment
by a DRC court in which a monetary award was granted... while the contractual
dispute is currently being held in court in South Africa, which has
jurisdiction on the issue.”
Congolese Wireless Network in October filed court papers to
block Vodacom from selling its 51% stake in the DRC business.
The two companies have been in arbitration after disagreeing
over fees from the joint venture.