Gupta banking matter resumes in court

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Pretoria – The Oakbay Investments Proprietary Limited banking matter will resume in the North Gauteng High Court this morning.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan approached the court seeking a declaratory order to stop the Gupta family from pressuring him to intervene in the closure of their companies' accounts by various major banks.

Between December 2015 and April last year, the Big Four banks closed the accounts of the Gupta owned companies, which prompted the family’s request that the Minister intervene.

The banks are scheduled to make their submissions when the matter resumes today.

On Tuesday, the court dismissed President Jacob Zuma’s application to be admitted to the case as an interested party.

The Presidency said the President was cited as an interested party on the basis that he would be directly affected by the declaratory order that is sought by the 17th respondent, Standard Bank.

Standard Bank was seeking relief that would affect the President and other members of Cabinet without properly joining them as parties in the proceedings.

“For instance, the court would grant an order extending to the Presidency or Cabinet, compelling them to do or not to do certain things when they would not have been parties to the proceedings,” said the Presidency.

The Presidency said an affidavit was then placed before court to place on record the correspondence between the State attorney and Standard Bank attorneys to show the attempts of the Presidency to avoid the extended order they were seeking and the fact that we were not properly joined and should not be party to the proceedings, in the first place.

In their response, Standard Bank made it clear that they intended to persist with the relief they were seeking, notwithstanding the fact that the Presidency had indicated to them that without a proper joinder application, they were not a party to the proceedings.

The court ruled that the Presidency is not before court but could keep a watching brief. -

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