Advocate Wim Trengove. Picture: Andrew Moses

Bloemfontein - Advocate Wim Trengove says the Gupta-linked businesses and individuals who are trying to stop the preservation order on their properties have failed to tell the court what actually transpired for them to implicated.

Trengove said this when started arguing in response to issues raised by Advocates Michael Hellens SC and Dawie Joubert, who are representing the applicants, in their earlier bids to have the State case dismissed.

The companies and individuals who are the applicants in the matter are Oakbay Investments (Pty) Ltd, Aerohaven (Pty) Ltd, Ashu Chawla, Oakbay acting chief executive officer Ronica Ragavan and former director Varun Gupta, Westdawn Investments (Pty) Ltd and Annex Distribution (Pty) Ltd.

Trengove is appearing for the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP).

Trengove told court that the applicants had spent a lot of time in the morning attacking the State's case without explaining what actually happened.

The entire case from the applicants is aimed at taking potshots at the NDPP case," said a soft spoken Trengove.

"They have not put up a case. They have not told us what the truth is. They're simply taking potshots," he added.

Trengove said the facts presented by Hellens in his efforts to discredit the State case actually conflated as he was mixing issues and thereby missing the  essence of the case.

READ: Gupta companies’ preservation appeal: Hellens tears into State's case

He said order sought by the State was not to confiscate suspected proceeds of crime but to simply have them preserved until conviction. 

Trengove said this means the state only needed to prove suspicion so that the properties can be preserved.

This is not an application for a confiscation order. A confiscation order is a civil judgement that may be executed on the property of the accused and a third party. 

But an affected gift is not just the direct proceeds of crime but any gift made by the accused in the past seven years.

The NDPP need not even place the evidence before the court, just the suspicion is adequate. 

The actual evidence can be presented on a later date. The issue before this court is whether there is a possibility that one day there could be a conviction, he explained.

Trengove said the state had no problem understanding how the Bank of Baroda operated but it was just an usual situation.

Every bank has a pool of funds from clients. Once the money is deposited, it loses identity but it remains a book entry at the bank.
This whole analogy about banks notes disappearing doesn't apply. 

The only difference is that BoB does not keep that money. It's kept at other banks. 

The Estina account with the Bank of Baroda was an unusual situation, said Trengove.

The case continues.

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