An application by previous Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan for a definitive request against the Gupta family’s bank case has been expelled by the High Court in Pretoria. The court decided that Gordhan’s application on whether he could meddle in the connection between the banks and their customers is “pointless”
The former finance minister had approached the court in 2016 for a declaratory order stating that he could not intervene in a dispute between Oakbay Investments and four banks. This was after being pressured to do so by the cabinet and the Gupta-linked Oakbay.
Gordhan had been asked by the Gupta-owned company for assistance after the banks closed all accounts related to the family, saying their reputation is at stake. Gordhan’s move at the time was widely interpreted as an attempt to put an end to the lobbying and also bring to the spotlight, the Guptas’ financial affairs. Subsequently, the High Court on Friday ruled that Gordhan’s application is dismissed and that he must pay costs for the Oakbay Group only. Oakbay companies argued in court that it agreed that the law was clear in stating that the minister could not legally interfere in the banking affairs of the family’s group of companies.
They added that the group never said that Gordhan was obliged to act but simply asked for help because of the dire situation they were in. Accordingly, the High Court judgment reiterates that both the minister and Oakbay agreed that Gordhan was not legally obliged to interfere. “It is not appropriate for a member of the national executive to draw the judiciary into the exercise of his executive functions as evinced in this application‚” the court ruled.
To concede the clergyman the definitive help would enable the legal to stray into the activity of official capacities where the conditions don’t warrant its association.” at the end of the day, there’s no arrangement in the Constitution that engaged an individual from the national official to mediate in a private bank-customer debate.