Johannesburg - CellC, the

intended preferred bidder for the

third cellular licence, yesterday

came out in support of its socalled

privileged position and

refuted the suggestion its bid

required a boost from outside

interference.

CellC said in a statement that

the reports by consultants

Afcent/CLC and BDO Spencer

Steward, and the internal

analysts team from the South

African Telecommunications

Regulatory Authority (Satra), did

not suggest the consortium was

undeserving of its win.

It said NextCom, the rival bidder

that mocked Satra`s recommendation

of CellC, could not be

the winner according to confidential

material used by consultants.

CellC said: ``Material assertions

made in these reports suggest

that NextCom`s application

is significantly deficient and

flawed in many key respects.``

NextCom said that awarding

the licence to CellC meant ``there

was something wrong`` with

Satra`s decisionmaking process.

Anthony Glass, a NextCom

director, said: ``A CellC award

would give us as South Africans

the dubious distinction of being

the most expensive cellphone

market in the world.``

NextCom last week lodged an

urgent high court interdict to

prevent Satra from making its

final recommendation but be

granted relief to review Satra`s

decisionmaking process.

The court ruled that Satra

should make its final recommendation

and inform bidders at the

same time as it was made to Ivy

MatsepeCasaburri, the communications

minister.

MatsepeCasaburri would not

implement the recommendation

until after five days of receiving

it, the period within which

bidders could request a review.

In its application, NextCom

included details of claims against

Satra including alleged inconsistencies

and factual errors in

reaching its decision.

CellC said: ``The contention

by NextCom that the process will

not be fair unless NextCom itself

is selected as the winner smacks

of opportunism.``