Former MTN chief denies bribe allegations

2012-04-02 07:29

The former chief executive of MTN Group has denied that he authorised bribes to Iranian and South African government officials in return for a cellular licence in Iran.

“I can state quite categorically that during my tenure as group CEO of MTN no bribes were authorised or paid by the MTN Group to any South African or Iranian government officials to secure the mobile licence in Iran,” Phuthuma Nhleko said in a statement.

Turkish mobile operator Turkcell this week filed a $4.2 billion (about R32 billion) lawsuit against MTN in a US Federal court, accusing it of using bribery and other corrupt acts to win its licence in Iran in 2004.

Nhleko, who was then chief executive of MTN, is named in the suit, as well as current chief executive Sifiso Dabengwa, who was then the chief operating officer.

The suit also charges that MTN lobbied the South African government to take a soft stance on Iran’s nuclear programme and provide Tehran with military equipment in exchange for the licence, which was initially awarded to Turkcell.

MTN has said the case is without legal merit, while Pretoria has said its foreign policy is independent.

“MTN’s conduct was not unlawful or corrupt and MTN was certainly not in a position where it could influence or fetter the decisions made by the South African government or any other sovereign state,” Nhleko said.

MTN has set up an independent committee led by a UK legal scholar to investigate Turkcell’s claims. It has said Turkcell has refused to cooperate with the investigation.

MTN has a 49% stake in Iranian unit Irancell, which accounts for nearly 10% of its yearly revenue.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.