CAPE TOWN - Former finance Minister Pravin Gordhan's application seeking declaratory relief from having to intervene with the banks has been dismissed by the court.
According to Fin24, the court decision was given out in the North Gauteng High Court by Judge Aubrey Ledwaba.
Judge Ledwaba stated on Friday that Gordhan’s application is denied and that he will have to carry the costs incurred.
The application was logged last year in October and was finally heard in March by the court.
Essentially the Gupta-owned company Oakbay approached Ghordan, while he was still finance minister to intervene on their behalf after the four major banks in SA closed their accounts.
The four banks include FNB, Nedbank, ABSA and Standard Bank.
Gordhan believed that he could interfere with the banks' decisions. He asked the courts to rule on this matter.
Deputy Judge President Aubrey Ledwaba said the Gupta’s Oakbay Group conceded in its legal arguments to the legal position that the minister sought confirmed by way of a declaratory order.
“We note with concern, though, that while the Oakbay Group knows and has conceded the legal position regarding the powers and functions of the minister, they not only persisted in their requests to him for assistance., but counsel for Oakbay in arguments submitted that he would not consider similar requests to the minister in future to be impermissible.”
“It is the duty of the minister, as a member of the National Executive, to obey, respect and uphold the law in the exercise of his executive functions. 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 Governor and the Registrar of the Reserve Bank, ABSA, FNB, Nedbank and the director of the Financial Intelligence Centre will in fact also have to carry own costs as well.
According to a report on ENCA, the Gupta's lawyer argued that Gordhan did not go to court to seek legal clarity about his role to intervene in the family's fight with the banks, but in fact, the lawyer suggested that the former minister wanted to air the Gupta companies’ dirty laundry in public.
* This story is developing and more information will follow.
- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE