S.African government probes Iran bribe allegations

July 11, 2012 - 1:38 PM

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africa's government says it is investigating allegations its former envoy to Iran accepted payments from a South African cell phone company.

The foreign affairs department confirmed in response to a question in parliament Wednesday that it was looking into allegations that the former diplomat, Yusuf Saloojee, accepted money from MTN. Saloojee and MTN deny the allegations.

South African police announced separately last month they had opened a probe into allegations MTN paid bribes to secure business in Iran.

A Turkish cell phone company, meanwhile, seeks damages from MTN in a civil case filed in the US. Turkcell accuses MTN of bribing officials and bringing other influence to bear to get a license to provide mobile phone service in Iran. MTN has denied Turkcell's allegations.