Gordhan’s application politically motivated: Guptas’ Oakbay
\n Sipho Mabena | 2017-01-20 18:36:33.0\n \n \n \n \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n \n\n \n\n\n \n \n
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\n \n \n \n South Africa’s minister of finance, Pravin Gordhan, is under attack. \n \n \n \n
Image by: Reuters\n \n \n \n
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\n Gupta-owned Oakbay Investments has questioned the timing of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s legal bid for a declaratory order‚ saying it confirmed suspicions that the application was politically motivated.\n
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Acting chief executive Ronica Ragavan states in an affidavit filed in the high court in Pretoria on Friday that Gordhan’s application was vindictive because he believed the controversial Gupta family‚ owners of Oakbay‚ was behind his troubles with the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation‚ the Hawks.
Ragavan says the minister was invited to report to the Hawks for a warning statement on or about 22 August but that he did not do so. He instead held a meeting with Treasury staff the following day where he apparently said “the out-of-favour Indian-South African family – the Guptas – are the brain behind the nightmare” and that he was being attacked by the family because of the work the Treasury is doing.
Ragavan charges that the timing of Gordan’s application on October 14 coincided with the criminal proceedings instituted against him.
Gordhan filed court papers that contained explosive details about “suspicious” bank transactions by Gupta-owned companies totalling almost R6.8-billion‚ which may have contributed to four banks closing accounts belonging to the Guptas.
“… the obvious inference is that this application was his retaliation against the Gupta family…on this ground too‚ the application is abusive and ought to be dismissed with costs”‚ she states.
In October the National Prosecuting Authority charged Gordhan with fraud linked to the early retirement for Ivan Pillay. The charges were dropped two weeks later.
Ragavan says the timing of the application also coincided with the anticipated release of the explosive State of Capture report by then public protector Thuli Madonsela.
“It will be recalled that the last day in office for (Madonsela) was 14 October 2016. Several applications to prevent the State of Capture report from being released followed and those who would be heard on 2 November 2016. This application was strategically issued a few days before the hearing of that matter in order to cloud the issues and further taint the Oakbay Group‚” says Ragavan.
Madonsela’s state capture report found that Zuma may have breached his executive code of ethics and may be conflicted over his son‚ Duduzane’s relationship with the Gupta family.
In her remedial action Madonsela directed that a commission of inquiry into the allegations of state capture be conducted and that Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng appoint a sole judge to preside over the commission.
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