The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has confirmed that it has closed down Amatole Telecommunications Services (aka Easttel) in East London as part of its “efforts to collect outstanding licence fees and enforcing compliance from operators”.
“We obtained a search and seizure warrant from the local Magistrates Court in East London against Amatole Telecommunication,” ICASA said in a press statement.
According to ICASA, Amatole has failed to pay its annual licence fees in terms of their licence terms and conditions from 2009/2010 financial year.
“There have been a number of meetings between ICASA and Amatole to regularize their licences. On the 29th August 2012, Amatole Telecommunications Services signed an Acknowledgement of Debt which payable over a seven month period,” said ICASA.
“ICASA agreed to the payment plan on the 6th of September 2012. Two payments were made but Amatole has since defaulted on the payment arrangement which invalidated such agreement.”
ICASA said that the warrant was executed by their inspectors and members of the local South African Police Service where radio equipment and other Microwave radio apparatus were confiscated.
“At the time of execution of the warrant Amatole failed to produce any valid licence,” ICASA said.
ICASA acknowledged that the court ruling in favour of Amatole which sets aside the search and seizure warrant from ICASA.