By BO Staff Writer
Yesterday the North Gauteng High Court, in the matter of Pravin Gordhan versus Oakbay Investments (Oakbay), started hearing legal arguments in the case. Gordhan sought a declaratory order that he is “not by law empowered or obliged to intervene in the relationship” between the banks and Oakbay regarding the closure of the Oakbay bank accounts.
The Court struck off from Gordhan’s application, the FIC report, Mcebisi Jonas’s affidavit, as well as all references thereto. To this end the Court ruled that both the documents and references were irrelevant to the case.
According to Oakbay, the struck off documents serve only to “further the Minister’s own political agenda and to tarnish the Group’s image”.
The Black First Land First (BLF) National Convener, Andile Mngxitama, pointed out that “any objective observer would come to the conclusion that the application by Pravin was a malicious defence of white capital”.
The FIC certificate, which purportedly “supports” the allegation by Gordhan that Oakbay engaged in 72 “suspicious” transactions, is supposed to have retrospectively explained illegality on the part of Oakbay. Evidently, these 72 “suspicious” transactions and their supporting FIC certificate were fabricated at the behest of Gordhan in service of white monopoly capital. This in turn is said to be in furtherance of the regime change agenda against President Jacob Zuma by virtue of his “association” with the Guptas.
Why is Gordhan going to court on an issue that is clearly not in dispute between the parties? Quite clearly Gordhan’s conduct suggests, amongst other things, a case of him abusing the processes of the court. In this regard it is suggested that such an abuse of the court’s processes are engaged in by Gordhan to further his own political interests which are linked to that of white monopoly capital.
Mngxitama pointed out that “[h]ow Gordhan handled the saga of the closure of the Oakbay bank accounts last year… demonstrates that he is conflicted, compromised and beholden to white monopoly capital”.
It appears from the version of Oakbay that it had upon closure of its bank accounts by the four major banks, approached Gordhan for assistance but never insisted he intervenes. Oakbay maintains that it wants to “protect the jobs of our more than 7,500 employees which continue to be at risk while we do not have access to local banking services”.
Seemingly, as the evidence suggests, instead of assisting Oakbay, Gordhan chose to rather approach the High Court for a declaratory order that he is not legally “empowered or obliged to intervene in the relationship” between the banks and Oakbay.
“Oakbay is a primary competitor of the businesses that Gordhan has shares in, and that is why he cannot be impartial” Mngxitama said. He further contended that “Gordhan’s application serves the banks in which he has shares. These banks ensured that Gordhan be appointment as Minister of Finance. This further demonstrates how he is using his position as Minister of Finance to serve his business partners”.
Referring to the propaganda campaign run by the white media so as to shape public opinion in favour of its false narrative that the real enemy is President Zuma and the Guptas instead of white settler monopoly capital in cohorts with Western imperialism, Mngxitama insisted:
“Rupert media is not going to tell you that Pravin Gordhan’s big claim about Guptas bank accounts corruption is based on the FIC certificate that was thrown out of court. The same white media will not tell you that Deputy Minister Mcebisi Jonas’ affidavit implicating the Gupta businesses was also thrown out. These are facts you will not know because the Rupert owned media is busy making us hate those they hate”.
Oakbay Investments acting CEO, Ronica Ragavan, said that the application by Gordhan “is entirely pointless except to generate yet more unsubstantiated negative media coverage about our business and current shareholders”. She strongly indicated that the “application is riddled with flaws and inaccuracies and there is no contested legal issue here”.
She denied that Gordhan was ever asked to intervene between itself and the banks that had closed its accounts.
“We believe that the sole purpose of the Minister’s application is to generate negative media coverage of Oakbay around 72 ‘suspicious transaction reports’ which have been used to justify retrospectively the closure of our accounts by the banks”, she said.
She clarified that the information regarding the “suspicious” transactions can’t be released simply “[b]ecause we know that all of the transactions are legitimate and above board and it will exonerate us”. Furthermore, it “does not suit the Minister’s strategic play book. He is orchestrating a campaign of false allegations about our business and our shareholders, the Gupta family, to discredit President Zuma as part of his political agenda and that of monopoly capital”.
Following the Court’s ruling Ragavan said, “[n]ow we want the information we need to prove our innocence. We call on the Finance Minister, the banks, the FIC and anyone with the power and authority to release the full details of the 72 transactions so that we can identify them. The truth will come out in the end and today is just the start”.
With deep concern Mngxitama asked, “[w]hat kind of Minister goes to Court for an order that he is not by law empowered or obliged to intervene in a case of the bad behaviour of banks?”.
The court showed yesterday that Gordhan had already interfered on the side of the banks. “Pravin has shares in these banks that’s why he is so compromised”, Mngxitama said.
The case continues today.