The political tussle between Finance Minister P. Gordhan and South African controversial family, the Guptas has taken a dramatic and fiercer turn.
This time, punches have started coming thick and fast, and the use of elbows is becoming more prevalent.
Accusations of mudslinging, victim-playing and abuse of the court system have also taken the centre stage in the battlefield.
On Monday, Gordhan opened the gate for all to see the bone of contention between himself and the influential family.
Speaking in his hard-hitting formal legal papers, the minister accused the family of waging a political campaign against him and the National Treasury.
He also refuted claims that his application for a declaratory order against the family was politically motivated. The minister admitted that he doesn’t have the legal right to intervene in the matter between the banks and the Guptas and that he was not responsible for the closure of the accounts of the Guptas.
But the Guptas, through their company Oakbay Investments, hit back and accused Gordhan of playing the victim in the matter, alleging that the minister was using the court to settle political scores.
A statement released on Monday by Gupta-owned Oakbay Investments read:
“Today’s affidavit is a case of reverse victim syndrome. The applicant proactively came after us and smeared our name with a flawed list of transactions, that he used his unique executive powers to obtain, and then questions the manner of our response to him.”
“All of this changes nothing. Our bank accounts remain closed and no evidence exists to prove why that is the case. We look forward to clearing our name in court.”
As also contained in the responding affidavit, the Investment company asked the Court not to grant the relief sought by the Minister and to dismiss his application with costs. The family pointed out that the application was ridden with factual and legal errors.
The Guptas have been in the spotlight since last year after some startling confessions by top government officials implicated them. Thuli Madonsela’s State of Capture Report also found them guilty of influencing the Zuma-led administration and appointing ministerial candidates in the country.