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MTN Must Respect Nigeria’s Laws – Cyril Ramaphosa

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to visit Lesotho as SADC Facilitator, Thursday 18 September 2014 17 September 2014 Departing from OR Tambo Airport. Interview ? Maseru - South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, in his capacity as the SADC Facilitator, will pay an official visit to the Kingdom of Lesotho on Thursday, 18 September 2014. Ê Deputy President Ramaphosa will be supported in his task by a team of SADC Troika member-states experts and secretariat. Ê During the visit Deputy President Ramaphosa, is expected to interact with members of the Coalition Government and other political role-players in the country as part of efforts to help the people of Lesotho to find a solution to their current political and security challenges.Ê Ê The visit follows a decision of the SADC Double Troika of Heads of State and Government plus DRC and Tanzania which convened in Pretoria on Monday, 15 September 2014, to consider among others the current political and security challenges facing the Kingdom of Lesotho. Ê In this context, the SADC Troika urged all role-players in the Kingdom of Lesotho to, ÔÕresolve their political challenges in accordance with the constitution, laws of the land and in line with democratic principlesÕÕ. In pursuance of this objective the parties agreed to bring forward the date of elections and to work with the Facilitator in ÔÕaddressing all political and security challenges in preparation for the brought forward electionsÕÕ Ê Consequently, the SADC Troika mandated Deputy President Ramaphosa to act as Facilitator to the Kingdom of Lesotho, to assist in the restoration of the political and security stability, the creation of lasting peace and constitutional normalcy. For more information contact Ronnie Mamoepa at 082 990 4853 or Clayson Monyela 082 884 5974. Ê Issued by: The Presidency and DIRCO

Yemi Adebowale

MTN must follow the rules in countries where it does business, the South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has said.

“We will obviously be taking note of what is happening with a view of seeing how the company involved responds and reacts in this matter,” Ramaphosa told lawmakers in Cape Town on Wednesday. “We would like our companies to comply with the laws and regulations of countries where they operate, without violating those.”

The comments by Ramaphosa, a former chairman of MTN, suggest South African authorities may leave MTN to fend for itself as it seeks to have the penalty reduced. MTN shares have slumped 14 percent since Oct. 26, when Nigeria’s industry regulator imposed the fine for failing to disconnect customers with unregistered phone cards.

The Nigerian Communications Commission has given MTN until Nov. 16 to pay the fine, which relates to the timing of the disconnection of 5.1 million subscribers and is based on a charge of 200,000 naira ($1,005) for each unregistered customer. Nigeria is Johannesburg-based MTN’s biggest market with 62 million clients as of September.

“It does seem like in the case of Nigeria, there were issues, and those issues need to be addressed,” Ramaphosa said. “If this fine is indeed imposed as it is, it is going to impact on South Africa as well, as our revenue fortunes from a taxation point of view are going to be lower.”

South African authorities may be reluctant to confront their Nigerian counterparts following a series of diplomatic spats that have soured relations between Africa’s two biggest economies. The most recent occurred in April, when Nigeria’s government ordered its two most senior diplomats in South Africa to return home for consultations following a wave of attacks against immigrants, including Nigerians, in Johannesburg and Durban.

“South Africa does not have a track record of defending its national company champions internationally,” Nic Borain, a political analyst who advises BNP Paribas Cadiz Securities, said by phone. “On the face of it, this fine seems seriously over the top. Ramaphosa’s words about the issue seem weak as they veer too much on the side of caution.”

 

Source: Bloomberg

 

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