Zuma wants Standard Bank’s application in the Gupta case struck off the roll

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The State Attorney has filed an affidavit with the high court in Pretoria to have an application by Standard Bank that directly affects the president to be struck off the roll because Zuma has not been formally joined in the proceedings.

Gordhan applied to the high court in Pretoria in October last year for an order declaring he did not have the power to intervene with a decision by several South African banks to terminate the accounts held with them by the Oakbay group of companies‚ controlled by the Gupta family.

Gordhan made this application following a number of letters from then Oakbay Investments CEO Nazeem Howa last year asking the minister to assist the companies after their bank accounts were closed.

The matter is to be heard on Tuesday.

However‚ Standard Bank‚ which is a party to the proceedings‚ brought Zuma into the proceedings without formally joining him.

It sought an order declaring that no member of the national executive of government‚ including the president and all members of the Cabinet‚ is empowered to intervene in any decision taken by the bank to terminate its banking relationship with Oakbay companies.

Standard Bank said the matter would be heard together with the main application by Gordhan.

However‚ the president was not joined as a party to the legal proceedings as required by the rules of the court.

Instead‚ Standard Bank lawyers sent a letter to the president on December 15 notifying him of the order they will seek.

The letter advised Zuma that the affidavit by Standard Bank will be provided to him so that “you or any other authorised member of the National Executive may participate in the Application should you elect or be advised to do so”.

The president was not happy with this request.

In an application filed with the high court in Pretoria last week‚ Zuma wants the application by Standard Bank be struck from the roll with costs.

In an affidavit filed by State Attorney Kgosi Lekabe‚ he said the president wanted to take issue with the “irregular attempt” by Standard Bank to seek relief directly affecting Zuma and other members of the Cabinet without properly joining them as parties in the proceedings.

Lekabe said if Standard Bank wanted to pursue the order it seeks‚ it should have taken steps to have the president and other members of the Cabinet joined as parties in those proceedings.

“However‚ Standard Bank elected not to attempt to have the President and the other members of the Cabinet to be joined as parties in the application of the Minister of Finance.”

Lekabe said Zuma had no desire to intervene in the application by Gordhan and could not be compelled to do so because the bank refused to follow the ordinary processes for bringing parties to the court.

“Nor can the President be bound by court orders sought in proceedings in which he is not a party‚” Lekabe said.

Lekabe said Zuma had pointed out these facts to Standard Bank attorneys in correspondence‚ but they persisted in the bank’s attitude that it did not intend to join the president as party to the proceedings.

– TMG Digital

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