Cape Town - The Gupta family and Oakbay Investments released a statement on Tuesday saying they were “delighted” to have been cited as respondents to the application filed by South Africa's finance minister, Pravin Gordhan, over suspicious transactions, allegations they described as “undiluted nonsense”.
The parties “thoroughly welcome this application”, although it appears “to be little more than the usual political games”, the statement said.
“At last, the Gupta family and Oakbay can begin to formally clear their names,” it said, thanking Gordhan for “this opportunity”.
The statement came from the Oakbay corporate communications email address and was described as having been released by the Gupta family lawyer, Van Der Merwe Associates, on behalf of Ajay Gupta and Oakbay Investments.
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It said the finance minister's application was being considered by lawyers for the family and Oakbay and that “each and every entry would be dealt with in full”.
Initial analysis was said to show fundamental flaws in the application and the 72 transactions it flagged as suspicious. These flaws included that six of the transactions, totalling R4.096 billion, involved the Optimum mine before it was under Oakbay's control and, therefore, did not involve Oakbay or the family.
Many of the other transactions had been found to be perfectly legitimate, in the normal course of business and not suspicious in any way, according to the statement. More information was being awaited on a number of the other transactions.
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The statement pledged full disclosure once the analysis had been completed. It also pointed out that all of the 72 transactions had been approved and cleared by the respective banks processing the transactions, a fact that had been acknowledged in the attachment to Gordhan's application, in the form of a signed letter from the deputy governor of the Reserve Bank.
Regarding the transfer of the Optimum Rehabilitation Trust's Account (more than R1.3 billion) from Standard Bank to the Bank of Baroda, the statement said this had already been proved to be bona fide and approved by all relevant authorities.
The transfer had occurred because all of Oakbay's South African accounts were being closed, it said.
“To reiterate, we are delighted to have received this application. The truth always comes out in the end and we look forward to clearing our name in court,” the statement concluded.
AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY