Following Minister Pravin’s court papers revealing 72 dubious transactions, the Guptas family lawyer has come in defence of the family saying there are no wrongdoings in the transaction.
The Gupta family companies were named among companies involved in the finance minister’s application that sought an order that he will not intervene in the banks’ decision to drop the family as clients.
The family-controlled Oakbay Resources and Energy had upon Gordhan’s application, confirmed that five of the 72 suspicious transactions listed in an affidavit were done by the JSE-listed holding company or its subsidiary, Shiva Uranium.
Addressing this, the Guptas’ family lawyer, Gert van der Merwe said there was nothing wrong with any of the transactions.
“They will show how all the transactions flagged as suspicious by the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) are in fact lawful.
“Whatever the allegations are, I am going to deal with them with particularity in the papers. I can give you one example: that is the R1,3bn that is alleged to have disappeared that was supposed to serve as rehabilitation fund money.
“That money is lying in a rehabilitation fund with another bank because the banks closed the accounts. So the long and short of this is we gave proof of this to advocate Thuli Madonsela as well.”
Speaking further on this, the Guptas family lawyer said a campaign is being waged against his clients and their companies to stop them from doing business in the country.
“In our view, these so-called suspicious transactions were merely used as excuses to bring this application to court and eventually prevent my client from doing business.”
However, economist Mike Schussler said the figures simply don’t add up.
“These transactions are huge and they are much bigger than the company at this moment in time.
“I think really people would be concerned and suspicious and that’s probably giving us the insight as to why the banks are not interested in working with them. Their auditors and sponsors were not interested either.”
Meanwhile, former CEO of Oakbay Investments Nazeem Howa said the company will be recognized as the type that South Africa needs in time – one that is innovative, creates jobs, pays tax, and abides by the law.
Howa who resigned days after Gordhan applied a bombshell affidavit that revealed nearly R7 billion worth of financial transactions being made by companies aligned to the Gupta family, said he is confident on the future of the company and the impact it will make in South Africa’s economy.