Jul 10, 2012
Probe into SA Ambassador over MTNBack
Washington|Africa|Irancell|Nuclear|Turkcell|Africa|Islamic Republic Of Iran|South Africa|USD|Nuclear|David Maynier|Javid Ghorban-Oghli|Maite Nkoana-Mashabane|Yusuf Salojee|Operations|Cellular Telephone
The statement by Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, in reply to a Parliamentary question released on Tuesday, adds a new twist to the controversy over MTN's operations in Iran.
The South African company stands accused of paying bribes to secure a mobile phone operating licence in Iran, but has denied any wrongdoing. It is alleged that MTN made a payment of $200 000 (R1.6-million) towards the purchase of a house for Salojee in South Africa.
Nkoana-Mashabane confirmed in her reply that Salojee did not have permission from the department to perform remunerated work outside his diplomatic functions.
Democratic Alliance MP David Maynier, who submitted the question, pointed out that a few months ago the Minister had insisted there was no need to investigate Salojee.
"It is not clear why the department has done an about turn, but the institution of this investigation is nevertheless a welcome development."
He called on the department to release the findings of the investigation as soon as possible.
The Hawks announced last month they were investigating claims that MTN had obtained its operating licence in the Islamic republic through corrupt means.
The claims originated from Turkish mobile operator Turkcell, which won a tender in 2004 for the second private mobile operating licence in Iran. However, the licence was finally awarded to MTN Irancell, a consortium in which MTN holds a 49% stake.
MTN has said there was nothing untoward about the process, and that Turkcell was knocked out of contention because it failed to comply with Iranian legal and commercial requirements.
But Turkcell has alleged in a law suit filed in Washington that MTN bribed officials, arranged meetings for Iran with South African leaders, and promised Iran weapons and support at the United Nations nuclear watchdog on the Iran dossier, in exchange for the stake in Irancell.
International news agency Bloomberg has reported that the court documents include alleged MTN memos pointing to payments to Salojee and Iran's former Deputy Foreign Minister, Javid Ghorban-Oghli.
In March, Nkoana-Mashabane said there was no need for an investigation into payments to the ambassador, adding she knew for a fact that nothing had swayed South Africa's stance on Iran's controversial nuclear programme.
Edited by: SapaComment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Updated 6 hours ago Transport equipment manufacturer GE Transportation has appointed Thomas Konditi as the head of its sub-Saharan Africa division. Konditi, who would be based in Johannesburg, was most recently COO of GE Africa, in Nairobi. His responsibilities included the oversight of...
Updated 7 hours ago Trade union Solidarity has criticised the Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa (Necsa) for continuing with a restructuring process, which the union claims results in employees being demoted, without consulting with Solidarity about the process. Solidarity...
Updated 7 hours ago South Africa’s Automotive Production and Development Programme (APDP) had boosted Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa’s (FMCSA’s) manufacturing competiveness, the vehicle manufacturer said on Tuesday. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) had introduced the...
Recent Research Reports
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
This Week's Magazine
Updated 7 hours ago Eqstra Holdings was going to reduce its exposure to contract mining, but it was not yet ready to sell the troubled business, said CEO Walter Hill on Tuesday. He said Eqstra would not sell its contract mining business in a “depressed market”. He said it would be...
Subscribe to Engineering News and Mining Weekly for two years, but only pay for the first year. The weekly editions of Engineering News and Mining Weekly will be posted to your preferred postal address and also gain access to:
National flag carrier South African Airways (SAA) is in an advanced stage of renegotiating its deal with European airliner manufacturer Airbus to acquire A320 single-aisle (or narrow body) aircraft. The aim is to replace ten of the aircraft still on order with five...
Worldwide, the main thrust in the ports industry over the past decade or more has been to increase efficiency. Traditionally, ports have been run by engineers and mariners and, in the past, increasing a port’s capacity was achieved by expanding the harbour. “That has...
What do you do when an elephant has a toothache? You call Dr Gerhard Steenkamp from the University of Pretoria’s (UP’s) faculty of veterinary science, Onderstepoort, one of only two elephant ‘dentists’ in the world.