Apr 12, 2012
Turkcell claims ‘simply ludicrous’ – MTN CEOBack
Tehran|Africa|MTN|Nuclear|Turkcell|Africa|Islamic Republic Of Iran|South Africa|United States|Equipment|Mobile Operator|Services|Telecommunications|Phuthuma Nhleko|Power|Sifiso Dabengwa
© Reuse this
Turkcell has filed a suit in the US against MTN, claiming that it won the licence by lobbying South Africa to back Tehran's nuclear development and by bribing officials of both governments.
Dabengwa said the allegation that MTN influenced South African foreign policy was “simply ludicrous” and dismissed suggestions that Turkcell’s failure to obtain a licence was as a result of corrupt practices by MTN.
He said the Turkcell consortium was not awarded the licence in Iran, as it failed to meet legal and commercial requirements. A consortium that included MTN as the noncontrolling shareholder was awarded the licence in 2005.
Earlier this month, former MTN CEO Phuthuma Nhleko also denied any bribes were authorised under his watch to secure the Iran licence.
Nhleko, who stepped down as CEO in March 2011 after ten years at the company, slammed Turkcell’s legal action as opportunistic and said the allegations were “far-fetched and without foundation”.
Meanwhile, Dabengwa denied allegations over Irancell’s complicity in human rights abuses, stating that the telecommunications group upheld clear ethical standards, with the expectation that the people MTN does business with abide by these standards.
MTN established an ethics committee to guide the company’s approach to such issues and ensure that it follows best international practices.
“One of our core values is to respect human rights and the privacy rights of people in all the markets in which we operate. We oppose the abuse of such rights by any party, including governments,” he stated in response to the accusation that MTN folded to the government's request for access to subscriber information.
He further noted that Irancell was bound by Iran laws and requirements, which enabled certain government agencies the power to access subscriber details and intercept telephone lines. This would have been the case irrespective of who Irancell’s shareholders were: whether MTN or Turkcell.
Meanwhile, MTN further emphasised that any software and equipment provided to Irancell by MTN was for normal business reasons.
“To suggest that we intended to acquire such equipment with the purpose of enhancing the Iranian government’s capacity to monitor its citizens outside the law or restrict their access to services is offensive,” he said.
The development of mobile telecommunications, while a “powerful force” for social and economic liberation in the developing world, presented new ethical dilemmas and the potential for manipulation by governments and citizens for unethical means. Dabengwa emphasised that while the company did not “shrink from these debates”, discussions had to be founded on facts not fantasy.
Edited by: Mariaan Webb© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Creamer Media Senior Researcher and Deputy Editor Online
Other ICT News
Updated 1 hour 20 minutes ago About 58% of unstructured data stored by companies is dark data, which means that the value or regulatory importance of the data has not been determined. Subsequently, most of the stored data add costs, rather than increasing revenue or reduce regulatory risks, says...
Recent Research Reports
Water 2015: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2015 Report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context but also in the African and global context in terms of supply and demand, water stress and insecurity, and access to water and sanitation, besides others.
Input Sector Review: Pumps 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2015 Input Sector Review on Pumps provides an overview of South Africa’s pumps industry with particular focus on pump manufacture and supply, aftermarket services, marketing strategies, local and export demand, imports, sector support, investment...
Liquid Fuels 2015: A review of South Africa's liquid fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2015 Report examines these issues in the context of South Africa’s business environment; oil and gas exploration; fuel pricing; the development of the country’s biofuels industry; the logistics of transporting liquid fuels; and...
Road and Rail 2015: A review of South Africa's road and rail sectors (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2015 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 infrastructure and network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and...
Defence 2015: A review of South Africa's defence sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Coal 2015 report examines South Africa’s coal industry with regards to the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local demand, export sales and coal logistics, projects being undertaken by the large and smaller participants in the...
Real Economy Year Book 2015 (PDF Report)
There are very few beacons of hope on South Africa’s economic horizon. Economic growth is weak, unemployment is rising, electricity supply is insufficient to meet demand and/or spur growth, with poor prospects for many of the commodities mined and exported. However,...
This Week's Magazine
Updated 1 hour 11 minutes ago The BMW Group will invest R6-billion at BMW Group South Africa’s (BMW SA’s) Rosslyn plant to produce the next-generation X3 sports-activity vehicle (SAV) for the local and export markets. Rosslyn will continue production of the current 3 Series through its lifecycle,...
Updated 1 hour 11 minutes ago The lack of consequences for poor performance and transgressions on the part of contractors remains a significant hurdle to tackling South Africa’s service delivery challenges, delegates heard at the Consulting Engineers South Africa Infrastructure Indaba, on...
Updated 1 hour 11 minutes ago City of Ekurhuleni executive mayor Mondli Gungubele earlier this month officially named the city’s bus rapid transit (BRT) system, Harambee.
Updated 1 hour 11 minutes ago About 58% of unstructured data stored by companies is dark data, which means that the value or regulatory importance of the data has not been determined. Subsequently, most of the stored data add costs, rather than increasing revenue or reduce regulatory risks, says...
Updated 1 hour 11 minutes ago Effective logistics, import/export and manufacturing consulting services require detailed industry knowledge and experience, but can add significant value to these industries by providing expert advice on various technical elements in their value chains, says...