South Africa’s ambassador to Oman, Mr Yusuf Saloojee, is reported to have been suspended over corruption claims.

Mr Saloojee is being investigated for allegedly accepting a US$200,000 bribe during his tenure as ambassador to Tehran. He denies the allegations.

The bribe was allegedly paid by a former MTN senior executive, Mr Chris Kilowan, in return for a mobile operating license in Iran. Bank statements, e-mails and deeds purport to show that the money was transferred to a South African conveyancing attorney for a house in Pretoria, now registered in Mr Saloojee’s name.

Meanwhile, MTN is reportedly defending a US$4.2 billion lawsuit by a rival firm, Turkcell, which has accused the South African operator of bribing officials and promising to support Iran’s nuclear programme. MTN denies the allegations and has called Turkcell’s demands “extortionate”.