The High Court of Lesotho has granted an interim order interdicting the Lesotho Communications Authority (LCA) from enforcing the payment of the fine of R134 million it imposed on Vodacom and from revoking the company’s unified license.
In terms of the Court Order, the LCA must, on 23 October 2020, show cause why the interim order should not be made a final order of the Court.
This followed a decision by the LCA to revoke the unified licence of Vodacom Lesotho because of a dispute over auditing practices.
According to the LCA, Vodacom failed to pay a fine of R134 million for contravening local legislation and the conditions of its operating licence in the region.
Vodacom said it will challenge this revocation in the High Court of Lesotho, with the first ruling going in Vodacom’s favour.
The company assure citizens of Lesotho that it remains fully focussed on delivering great value and a superior customer experience to its 1.2 million customers in the country.
“In other words, it remains business as usual for all our valued customers,” Vodacom said.
No other option than legal action
Vodacom Lesotho MD Philip Amoateng previously said they had no option but to seek relief in the courts because the LCA’s decision to impose an excessive fine as well as the revocation of Vodacom’s operating license are both erroneous as a matter of law and public policy.
“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,” he said.
“Given the hostility shown by 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 said that in addition to its investment in network infrastructure and corporate growth, it has also made significant contributions to the Lesotho community.
“Vodacom has spent M85 million since 2016 on corporate social investment, contributing to better healthcare, increased digital skills through initiatives such as ‘Code like a girl’ and supported job creation through the incubation of small-scale local business, amongst others,” it said.