Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan File picture: Sumaya Hisham/Reuters

Johannesburg - Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has denied claims by the Guptas of a political plot against the family.

In his answering affidavit in the North Gauteng High Court on Monday Gordhan said his application for a declaratory order was not politically motivated, as alleged by the Guptas, but in the interest of the country and the economy.

The affidavit by Gordhan followed that of the Guptas two weeks ago, in which they accused him of a political motive in his application.

But on Monday Gordhan hit back and accused the family of failing to state substantial facts in their affidavit.

Gordhan filed an application in the High Court last October seeking an order that he cannot intervene in the matter of the banks closing the accounts of the Guptas.

He said Oakbay, a Gupta-owned company, acknowledged in its answering affidavit two weeks ago that as Minister of Finance he cannot intervene in the matter of the banks.

He stands by that, and the banks have a responsibility to do their own work.

He said there was no political plot against the Gupta family, but his declaratory order was to protect the national interests.

“As my founding affidavit reflects, I have instituted this application ‘in the public interest’, and in the interests of the ‘integrity of South Africa’s financial and banking sectors’, ‘financial stability and the standing of the South African regulatory authorities’, ‘the South African economy at large’, and also ‘the employees whose interests Oakbay invokes’ itself-but whose interests Oakbay did not seek to protect by approaching the court, as I have invited Oakbay to do so,” said Gordhan.

“Now that I have done, so Oakbay alleges that my application is a political plot,” he said.

Gordhan denied his application for a declaratory order was politically motivated.

Political Bureau