The Democratic Republic of Congo Supreme Court has suspended a planned mandatory auction of shares in Vodacom Congo, which is owned by its South African namesake. The auction was planned for 3 June, but was suspended pending the outcome of ‘certain legal proceedings’, the pan-African telecoms group has revealed without giving further details. The auction represented the latest step in Vodacom’s ongoing legal battle with former consultant Moto Mabanga. In March this year Vodacom was ordered by a Kinshasa court to pay Mabanga USD21 million after losing a court appeal over a so-called ‘success fee’ dating back to 2008. Mabanga, who was hired by the company to assist in negotiations with co-owner Congolese Wireless Networks (CWN) between 2007 and 2008, was paid USD2.8 million for the work, but sued the company for a further USD40.8 million that he believes he is owed. Vodacom has maintained its reluctance to adhere to any legal decisions dictated by the Kinshasa court, indicating that the initial contracts between Vodacom and Mabanga stated that any disputes arising would be resolved under South African jurisdiction.
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