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News

Gordhan’s bank application ‘riddled with factual and legal errors’: Guptas

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s “superfluous application is riddled with factual and legal errors” and “its reliance on the list of 72 purported ‘suspicious transaction reports’ is misplaced and… supported by a flawed analysis”.

That’s according to responding court papers filed at the High Court in Pretoria on Friday by the Gupta family’s lawyer.

The papers described Gordhan’s application as an “abuse of power” and an “effort to involve the independent judiciary to settle political scores”.

If the court “were to countenance” the application‚ “it would open the floodgates for other weak-kneed political officials who are too scared to take positions of sensitive political and policy matters”.

Gordhan could “simply have declined to do anything in the exercise of his legal discretion”‚ but had instead approached the courts to rule on the issue‚ the papers said. The papers are in response to an explosive affidavit submitted by Gordhan in 2016‚ saying that he couldn’t intervene in the decisions by the banks to stop doing business with the family.

On October 14 last year‚ Gordhan filed court papers that contained details about “suspicious” bank transactions by Gupta-owned companies totalling almost R6.8-billion‚ which may have contributed to the banks closing accounts belonging to the Guptas.

The responding papers on Friday said that the Guptas had appointed an independent company to probe those transactions.

Gupta lawyer Gert van der Merwe said earlier that the family intends proving what they claim is a smear campaign against them and their businesses.