Vodacom has revealed that the Lesotho Communications Authority (LCA) could revoke its license to operate in the country.
According to TechCentral, the LCA has imposed a R134-million fine for ‘allegedly flouting its licence conditions and for allegedly being in breach of local legislation governing companies’.
In an official response, Vodacom says that it plans on lodging an urgent high court interdict – while assuring local customers that business will continue as usual.
“In the same application, Vodacom will be challenging the lawfulness of the LCA’s decision, set out in a notice dated 8 October 2020, revoking its unified licence,” it said.
Vodacom Lesotho MD, Philip Amoateng says, “We have no option but to seek relief in the courts because the LCA’s decisions imposing an excessive fine as well as the revocation of Vodacom’s operating licence are both erroneous as a matter of law and public policy.”
“These actions put at risk the country’s telecommunications ecosystem, including financial services platforms such as M-Pesa, and tens of thousands of jobs.”
Amoateng adds, “the LCA has unfortunately violated its prescripts and rules and our efforts to find an amicable solution to the dispute has drawn a complete blank. Given the hostility of the LCA towards Vodacom, our options are now limited to seeking redress in the courts to avert further damage to our brand, reputation and the interests of stakeholders, including our customers, shareholders and employees.”
Vodacom say it will have 14 days to apply for the fine to be reviewed.