South African operators Telkom and Vodacom as well as Vodafone and the local Department of Communications are being taken to court by the Communication Workers Union. The union served the three telecoms companies and the government department with notice of an urgent court interdict application in a bid to halt the sale of part of Telkom''s stake in Vodacom to Vodafone.
The CWU said its main bone of contention was the fact that the organisation was not properly consulted by Telkom in terms of both legislation and the recognition agreement regulating relations between its members and the company. The union said it had no other option but to use the law to force all parties to properly consult CWU, which has members at both Telkom and Vodacom. The CWU also believes that the public interest had been "deliberately ignored and compromised", and the issue should have been considered through a process of public hearings by the Independent Communication Commission of South Africa. According to the CWU, Telkom's CEO and its board chairperson failed to honour a meeting facilitated by the Department of Communications on 14 April where a discussion on the deal was to have taken place.
Telkom is selling part of its stake to Vodafone and spinning off the rest to its shareholders for public trading. Vodacom earlier said it completed all the conditions for the transaction and stock market listing and expects to start trading on 18 May.