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MTN WINS APPEAL AGAINST SPTC

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MBABANE - Swaziland MTN Limited has won the appeal against Swaziland Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (SPTC).


Swaziland MTN had filed an appeal against a judgment which was issued by High Court Judge Mumcy Dlamini who ruled that the matter be referred back to arbitration.
MTN  had  argued that the corporation’s decision to launch its range of Ultimate home products, including the Mi-FI, Fixed Terminal and WI-MAX was in violation of the arbitration award that sought to compel SPTC to terminate the ‘mobile component’ of its network.


In her Judgment Judge Dlamini had also ruled against MTN’s prayer for contempt charges to be preferred against SPTC for the breach of arbitration award which was made an order of the court. The judge said the question whether the products in issue violated the court order and other pertinent issues therein were referred back to arbitration.
The Supreme Court also set aside the judgment that was issued by Judge Dlamini.


SPTC was also interdicted and restrained from breaching the order of the High Court dated October 12, 2012.
Swaziland MTN Limited had argued that Judge Dlamini’s ruling that the matter be referred to arbitration was incorrect. Judge Dlamini had also ordered that the current status quo should remain.


MTN had sought to enforce an arbitration award of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), which was made an order of the High Court on October 12, 2012, by consent.
MTN argued that SPTC was in breach of the Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) governing both parties in that it (SPTC) continued to launch a rival mobile telephony network in competition with the JVA.


The ruling was delivered by Chief Justice Michael Ramodibedi, who was sitting with Supreme Court Judges Philip Levinsohn and Esther Ota.
Respondents in the matter were SPTC and its Managing Director Petros Dlamini, while the appellants were MTN Swaziland Limited, MTN International (PTY) Ltd, Mobile Telephone Networks (PTY) Ltd and Swaziland Empowerment Limited.


The Chief Justice said the court has a duty to vindicate its authority by ensuring that its orders were complied with at all times.
He also accepted the submission by the counsel of Swaziland MTN that it would be unreasonable for the appellant ( Swaziland MTN) to be out of pocket after pursuing an appeal necessitated by SPTC’s dishonest defences in this matter.


“In the result, the appeal is allowed with costs including certified costs of two counsels on the scale as between attorney and client,” Ramodibedi said.

 

 

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