JOHANNESBURG Nov 22 South African telecoms
group MTN has lodged a complaint with the Uganda
judicial service against one of the east African country's chief
magistrates, after MTN's senior executives were summoned to face
tax fraud charges.
MTN accuses the magistrate of unprofessional conduct after
MTN Group CEO Sifiso Dabengwa and 12 officials including the
chairman and CEO of MTN Uganda were summoned to court on Dec. 12
to face charges of tax evasion, conspiracy to make false customs
declarations and conspiracy to evade taxes.
MTN said it had not been aware of the summons and heard of
them through media reports.
"A perusal of the summons shows that, although the order to
issue them was made on the 19th November 2012, they were dated
7th November 2012," which was also a day after the magistrate
who issued them transferred the case to the director of public
prosecutions, the company said in a statement on Thursday.
"There was no charge sheet on the record nor was there a
record of proceedings before (the magistrate) between 6th
November, when she pronounced her ruling in an open court with
counsel for all parties present, and 19th November, when the
order was supposedly issued."
The company has previously denied the charges and says they
were initiated by a former employee who himself is accused of
defrauding MTN of millions of dollars.
MTN has sued the employee for embezzlement. He had initiated
the case against MTN as a private prosecution last month but a
court ruled on Nov. 6 the public prosecutor should take it over.
The magistrate's court was not immediately available to
(Reporting by Xola Potelwa; Editing by David Holmes)