Ricochet News

DA dismisses Gupta firm’s application to intervene in bank saga

By Charl Bosch - Apr 25, 2016
DA dismisses Gupta firm’s application to intervene in bank saga

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has rejected an application by Gupta owned Oakbay Investments to meet with party leader Mmusi Maimane.

In a letter addressed to Maimane, Oakbay CEO Nazeem Howa said the closing of its accounts by the country’s four banks had put the jobs of 7 500 people at risk, and that it wants him to appeal on their behalf to prevent the country’s unemployment rate from climbing further.

DA Shadow Minister of Finance David Maynier has however described the request as “inappropriate” and that no meeting would take place.

“It goes without saying that the request for the meeting was inappropriate and there will be no meeting with anybody from Oakbay Investments (Pty) Ltd,” he said.

Last week, Minister for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Jeff Radebe announced that Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant and Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane had been tasked with meeting the CEO’s of ABSA, Standard Bank, First National Bank and Nedbank to determine their exact reasons for closing down Oakbay’s accounts.

“We have been clear that it is wrong of the Minister of Finance, Minister of Labour and the Minister of Mineral Resources to be intervening, on behalf of the Guptas. We have therefore requested that the Governor of the Reserve Bank of South Africa, Lesetja Kganyago, to look into this matter,” Maynier said.

Earlier this month, Oakbay confirmed the resignation of Ajay of Atul Gupta as its co-chairs, Varun Gupta as CEO of Oakbay Resources and President Jacob Zuma’s Duduzane as director of Shiva Uranium, following reports that the family had been involved with the appointing and recommendation of cabinet ministers.

This resulted in the country’s four biggest banks, including auditing firm KPMG and investment bank Sasfin severing its ties with Oakbay.