iBurst parent Wireless Business Solutions (WBS) can afford to pay the money the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) claims it owes in unpaid spectrum licence fees.
Mtshali made the comments on Talk Radio 702 in response to questions from anchor Bruce Whitfield about whether WBS and its subsidiary iBurst were threatened by Icasa’s determination to recover unpaid fees.
Mtshali said the clash with Icasa was “just an act of bad luck” and was “a culmination of a lot of other events”.
Icasa received a search-and-seizure warrant from the high court in Johannesburg on 7 March. Yet, Mtshali said, four days later, on 11 March, WBS received a letter from the authority wanting to engage in discussions about reaching a settlement.
According to Mtshali, WBS doesn’t know how much it owes Icasa and the authority is also unsure of the exact figure. He claimed that WBS had presented the authority with “five or six settlement offers”. It previously offered to pay Icasa a sum towards the outstanding licence fees with the promise of making up for the deficit or applying for a refund, depending on which was applicable, once Icasa has settled on an amount owing, he added.
Should Icasa demand a fee in the region of the R60m sought, WBS would be “willing and able to pay it”.
WBS secured a high court injunction on Friday that compelled Icasa to return the equipment it had confiscated two days earlier. Mtshali said WBS has until the end of May to “negotiate all the disputed issues” with Icasa. — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media