Oakbay Investments responds to Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s affidavit

PUBLISHED: Mon, 30 Jan 2017 15:54:21 GMT

Oakbay Investments has responded to the affidavit filed by South Africa’s Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan earlier on Monday.

Mr Gordhan’s affidavit said he did not believe there was any bona fide opposition to his application for a declaratory order confirming that he could not intervene in a dispute between Oakbay Investments and the four banks, and that this was supported by the banks, the registrar of banks, the Reserve Bank and the Financial Intelligence Centre.

The Minister considered Oakbay’s opposition to the application “unreasonable”, and indicated that the company had used “many months to construct a far-ranging accusation” against him.

In a press release issued today, a spokesperson for Oakbay Investments said: “Today’s affidavit is a case of reverse victim syndrome. The applicant proactively came after us and smeared our name with a flawed list of transactions – that he used his unique executive power to obtain – and then questions the manner of our response to him. All of this changes nothing. Our bank accounts remain closed and no evidence exists to prove why that is the case. We look forward to clearing our name in Court.”

On January 20, 2017, Oakbay Investments submitted an affidavit in response to Minster Gordhan’s application where he sought a declaration from the court to confirm he has no legal responsibility to intervene in the matter of the closure of Oakbay’s bank accounts by South Africa’s four biggest banks: Absa, Nedbank, Standard Bank and FNB.

Oakbay’s responding affidavit said that the Minister’s superfluous application was riddled with factual and legal errors; that the Minister’s reliance on the list of 72 purported “suspicious transaction reports” wass misplaced and the Minister’s application was supported by a flawed analysis and a faulty factual record.

Oakbay said it has never suggested that the Minister was required to intervene in the bank-customer relationship. It saw no contested legal issue and no reason for the Minister to bring this application.

The company described the application as an abuse of court and an effort to involve the independent judiciary to settle political scores. Oakbay said the Court should therefore decline to grant the relief sought by the Minister and dismiss the Minister’s application with costs.

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