Finance minister Pravin Gordhan and mineral resources minister Mosebenzi Zwane have opposing views on how to deal with the Gupta family and their fight with the South African banks that blacklisted them.
According to a Parliamentary reply given by Gordhan to queries on his role in the ministerial committee set up to look into the situation, the minister met with Gupta-owned Oakbay Investments CEO, Nazeem Howa, and politely showed him the door when pushed to investigate the banks.
In April 2016, all major SA banks dropped the Gupta family’s business accounts, after accusation emerged that the family had been involved in high-level political manipulation, now known as state capture.
The banks followed the lead of auditing firm, KPMG and financial group Sasfin, who stepped away from the Guptas citing reputational concerns due to the allegations.
The Gupta family and its businesses have continuously cried foul over the matter, saying they were innocent victims in a political conspiracy, and have insisted that if there was any evidence against them in the matter, it should be presented and taken to court.
A ministerial committee was established to investigate the matter, headed up by Gordhan, Zwane and public enterprises minister Lynne Brown. Gordhan, however, did not get involved with the investigation, with the minister saying his time and presence was needed elsewhere.
This has led to two divisive views on the matter, chiefly with Zwane calling for a judicial commission of inquiry to probe the banks for their actions, as well as a controversial proposal that the Reserve Bank’s powers be reviewed and changed.
Despite the ANC’s opposition to Zwane’s view and statements, the minister remains firm in his position.
Gordhan, meanwhile, has publicly disagreed with Zwane, saying that his proposals are unnecessary and potentially damaging.
According to Gordhan’s response, when approached by Howa on the banking matter, the minister explained how the legal framework for governing banking worked, and explained he could not intervene on the matter.
Gordhan flipped the Guptas’ script on them, by insisting that if they have any evidence of wrongdoing on the banks’ part, it would be in their best interest to take the matter to court, as the outcome could hold serious consequences for the entire banking industry, and should be tested legally.
“It is in the interest of Oakbay that it goes to court if it has nothing to hide to correct any wrong perceptions that any bank may have about it, and to ensure it is being treated fairly,” he said.
“The best course of action would be for the company to approach a competent court to establish the rights which it contends it has, rather than via a political or public media campaign.” Gordhan said.
More on the Guptas
Source : https://businesstech.co.za/news/government/136345/gordhan-to-guptas-take-sa-banks-to-court-if-you-have-nothing-to-hide/