Ajay and Atul Gupta File picture: Independent Media

Johannesburg - Two multinational financiers turned down the controversial Gupta family when it wanted to buy an aircraft, the South Gauteng High Court heard on Friday.

The Guptas eventually leased the plane from British company Stoneriver in 2015 for £41-million (about R490-million).

Owen Cook SC, representing Gupta-owned companies Oakbay Investments and Westdawn Investments, said Export Development Canada (EDC), which financed the deal, was notorious for bankrolling dodgy deals.

"This is a face-saving exercise by the EDC," Cook said.

He did not name the two multinational financiers.

EDC launched its urgent application to have Bombardier Global 6 000 business aircraft grounded due to non-payment the day after the Guptas' 
Saxonwold compound was raided by the Hawks.

Canada's export credit agency also fears that the aircraft will be used for unlawful activities.

The Gupta-owned companies want the EDC's case struck off the roll.

The Guptas advocate Rafik Bhana told Judge Fayeeza Kathree-Setiloane that the EDC had not made a prima facie case for urgency.
Earlier, Alfred Cockerell, for the EDC, said the Guptas had switched off the aircraft's tracking device and his clients did not know when it was but frequented Dubai and India.

Cockerell said the Guptas breached several provisions of the lease agreement they entered into with EDC including failing to pay monthly installments, not submitting Oakbay's audited annual financial statements and selling their assets.

The matter continues.

Political Bureau