UK Independent Jurist Clears MTN Of Bribery Allegation
United Kingdom independent jurist, Lord Hoffman, commissioned by MTN Group in February 2012 to investigate allegations of bribery levelled by Turkcell over it’s Iran mobile licence in the legal case brought against MTN in the United States, has cleared the operator of the allegations.
Turkcell sued MTN in an American court alleging that the South African based operator bribed Iranian government officials with hundreds of thousands of dollars to secure its Iran mobile licence thus making the playing field uncompetitive for Turkcell. Turkcell is banking on the testimony of a former MTN official in its legal battle in USA.
In a statement issued from MTN Group headquarters and made available to LEADERSHIP WEEKEND, MTN Group Chairman, Cyril Ramaphosa said Lord Hoffmann’s Committee has determined that the Turkcell’s allegations are without foundation. Lord Hoffmann concluded that he found nothing in the conduct of MTN over this period that puts at question MTN’s integrity or propriety.
This is a reassuring validation of MTN’s culture and ethical business practices. “The Board is particularly pleased to note Lord Hoffmann’s categorical findings that the allegations against MTN’s former Group President and CEO Phuthuma Nhleko and MTN‘s former Commercial Director Irene Charnley were baseless. Allegations of complicity against the Chairman and the Group President and CEO Sifiso Dabengwa were similarly found to be without substance,” said Ramaphosa.
He said MTN board has accepted Lord Hoffmann’s recommendation that his report be published in full. “The Board is grateful to Lord Hoffmann, and Independent Non-Executive Directors Peter Mageza and Jeff Van Rooyen for their work, and the scope and detail of their conclusions,’’ he said.
Lord Hoffmann was born in South Africa and has enjoyed an illustrious career as a senior British judge, being appointed to the UK House of Lords in 1995. We felt that the seriousness of these allegations merited an authoritative and independent investigation. As an international jurist of unquestionable legal authority and independence, Lord Hoffmann was selected to chair the special committee established by the MTN Board to investigate the allegations.
Following a year-long investigation, Lord Hoffmann presented the committee’s findings to the MTN Board. MTN is one of Africa’s success stories – a great company founded on innovation, courage and values of honesty and ethical business dealings.