MTN denies Turkcell corruption claims
Johannesburg - MTN Group [JSE:MTN] on Thursday denied allegations it used corrupt practices and promises of weapons to win its licence in Iran, the first time the mobile operator has clearly rejected two-month-old charges from rival Turkcell.
“Any suggestion that Turkcell’s failure to obtain the licence was as a result of any alleged corrupt or improper practices by MTN is unfounded,” said MTN CEO Sifiso Dabengwa.
“The allegation that MTN influenced South African foreign policy with regard to its armaments and nuclear position is simply ludicrous and has already been dismissed by the South African government.”
MTN first said in February that it faced a suit from Turkcell claiming it bribed officials and asked South Africa to provide weapons to Iran and take a soft stance on Tehran’s nuclear programme in exchange for the licence.
Turkey’s largest mobile operator initially won a bid for the licence in 2004. Tehran later backed out of the deal and awarded the business to MTN in 2005.
Turkcell filed a $4.2bn suit against MTN in a US court late last month.
MTN has said the case lacked legal merit, but had previously stopped short of a full denial.
Former CEO Phuthuma Nhleko, who headed the company at the time, has denied that he authorised bribes to Iranian and South African officials for the licence.
He has also said the company was not in a position to influence decisions made by governments. Pretoria has said that its foreign policy is independent.
“The allegation that MTN influenced South African foreign policy with regard to its armaments and nuclear position is simply ludicrous and has already been dismissed by the South African government"....Well, we all know what goverment says ain't always true! So MTN do you think for a second I believe your statement?! I think NOT!
shame if so then what it happens all over the world if they influenced the awarding of a contract to a south african company good on them and good on the south african economy the issue is whether bribes were paid or not why file in an american court i think here is more than just a lisense at stake but our right to have a independent foreign policy remember we are paying more for petrol right now because of america threatening us with sanctions if we did not stop buying oil from Iran hope some kind of picture is starting to emerge
To our government its time to show Turkey what we are capable of to their businesses as well if the pathetic edogan doesnt interfere at this problem...we can test drive our greed first with Turkey's appliance maker DEFY...then we'll see who will back first.