SA suspends ambassador over MTN ‘bribe’

2012-07-11 15:50

Yusuf Saloojee, former ambassador to Tehran and current ambassador to Oman, has been suspended following allegations that he took a $200 000 (R1.65 million) bribe to help the MTN Group win a mobile licence in Iran.

Spokesperson of the department of international relations and cooperation Clayson Monyela told Talk Radio 702 that Saloojee had been suspended until investigations into his links to the MTN deal were concluded.

Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said this week in a parliamentary reply that her department had started an investigation into the allegations against Saloojee.

MTN is being sued by Turkish rival Turkcell for $4.2 billion. The Turkish company alleges MTN bribed Saloojee and used other underhanded methods to win a licence over Turkcell in 2005.

MTN has denied the charges and called Turkcell’s demands “extortionate”.

The Hawks also launched an investigation but it has not given details of its investigation.

Saloojee has denied the allegations.

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