MTN has said it will cooperate fully with a Hawks investigation into alleged corruption in the cellular giant’s winning of a mobile licence in Iran.

In a statement, MTN’s Xolisa Vapi says: “As we have previously noted, MTN has a zero tolerance for corrupt or unethical practices.” Vapi adds that the company has also appointed the Hoffman Committee to conduct an independent investigation into the allegations.

The latest moves are the result of a $4,2-billion lawsuit launched in the US in March by Turkish mobile operator Turkcell which accuses MTN of bribing Iranian and South African officials in order to secure the licence.

The Hawks confirmed yesterday that they were launching an investigation into the allegations.

“We first did an assessment to test the strength of the allegations,” says Hawks spokesman MacIntosh Polela. “After this we decided to do a follow-up investigation.”