Telecommunications company wins court battle against Telkom

A TELECOMMUNICATIONS company has won a court battle against Telkom after they were disqualified from a multi-billion rand tender process.

According to court papers, Telkom has outdated technology so it contracts companies with new technology to assist it with services.

In July 2011 Telkom advertised a "Request for Proposals" to upgrade and standardise its infrastructure. The advert was recalled and a new one placed two weeks later.

The first phase of the project would be worth an estimated R5-billion over three years, increasing to R13-billion over five years.

ZTE Mzanzi applied for the tender but three months later it was disqualified for non-compliance despite furnishing the required documents.

The company's lawyer, Themba Langa, said: "There were a lot of discrepancies when the company was disqualified. Telkom said the company did not furnish certain documents ... but why did they not approach the company and ask for the documents? That is why we went to court."

Huawei Technologies Africa and Alcatel-Lucent were chosen as the successful bidders.

In December ZTE Mzanzi brought an urgent court application against Telkom because it was informed by Telkom lawyers that arbitration was not applicable to the non-acceptance of a bidder's submission.

Judge J Prinsloo of the Pretoria High Court ruled that Telkom could not finalise the tender process until it finalised its dispute with ZTE Mzanzi.

Earlier this year, the competition commission proposed a R4.5-billion fine against Telkom for alleged anti-competitive conduct.

Telkom is accused of using its dominance to charge excessive prices, refusing access to an essential facility and engaging in price discrimination.

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