MTN has come under increasing public scrutiny in recent days following unfounded and sensationalist attacks by opponents in relation to our non-controlling 49% stake in Irancell.
We would like to set the record straight for the benefit of our stakeholders, particularly our dedicated staff who work under difficult conditions across all our emerging market operations, as well as our customers, business partners, shareholders and regulators in different jurisdictions.
MTN is an African success story and a company with strong ethics and values. We do not tolerate illegal or corrupt practices. We take allegations of wrongdoing by our employees seriously, as we demonstrated in our appointment of a special committee to investigate the allegations made by Turkcell. We co-operate with the authorities, and we are prepared to cooperate with the Hawks in any investigation by them into this matter.
MTN has been threatened and attacked by a disappointed competitor and a disgruntled former employee. The claims made by Turkcell in US proceedings have no legal merit and no place in a US court. We are fighting those claims, and we fully expect them to be dismissed. In any event, the former employee who is the source of the claims has been shown through the evidence in his deposition not to be a credible witness. He is being paid by Turkcell for his role in their legal claims, and has admitted that he is motivated by a grudge against MTN's former management. Contrary to Turkcell's public statements, the former employee's evidence was significantly discredited in his recent deposition as largely based on speculation, innuendo and hearsay.
MTN also strongly denies any suggestion that it or its representatives have harassed or intimidated this former employee or any other relevant witnesses in any way in relation to this process.
Turkcell's allegations that MTN is engaged in a "cover up" are simply nonsense. MTN launched its investigation into Turkcell's claims long before they were filed by Turkcell. MTN has appointed Lord Hoffmann, one of the world's most eminent jurists, to ensure the independence and integrity of the investigation. We are confident that the investigation will determine whether there was any misconduct on the part of the former employee now working for Turkcell, or by any other MTN employee.
MTN would like to reassure our stakeholders that we are taking all necessary steps to deal with the Turkcell allegations promptly and effectively, consistent with the law and with our company's ethics and values.
Launched in 1994, the MTN Group is a multinational telecommunications group, operating in 21 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The MTN Group is listed on the JSE Securities Exchange in South Africa under the share code: “MTN”. As of 30 April 2012, MTN recorded 173.1 million subscribers across its operations in Afghanistan, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Republic, Iran, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of Congo (Congo Brazzaville), Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Uganda, Yemen and Zambia. Visit us at www.mtn.com and www.mtnfootball.com.