Oakbay CEO Nazeem Howa calls it quits, citing health reasons

The resignation comes as Oakbay is investigating 5 of 72 transactions reported to authorities as suspicious.

FILE: Nazeem Howa. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - Gupta owned company Oakbay Investments has announced that its CEO Nazeem Howa has resigned due to health issues.

In a statement released this afternoon, Oakbay has confirmed that Howa stepped down after a period of illness and medical advice.

Howa joined the company in 2010 and has been fighting for the integrity of Oakbay after allegations that the Gupta family had unduly influenced President Jacob Zuma and were involved in Cabinet appointments.

Oakbay has thanked Howa for his hard work and has wished him well in his recovery.

LISTEN: Guptas v Gordhan: Implications of transaction claim

He has been quoted as saying it has been an honour to lead such a talented group of co-workers and in time Oakbay will be recognised as the type of company South Africa needs: innovative, job creating, tax paying and law abiding.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has, meanwhile, filed papers for a declaratory order to show that he cannot intervene in the Guptas' dispute with four major banks that closed their accounts, also revealing that around R6.8 billion worth of allegedly suspicious transactions took place between the family and their companies.

Gordhan has also asked if R1.3 billion was put into a mine rehabilitation account to try and avoid tax.

In the court papers, it shows letters written by Howa asking Gordhan to intervene by asking the banks to reopen their accounts.

Gordhan is seeking a declaratory order which provides a platform for banks, the Reserve Bank and the Financial Intelligence Centre to reveal details of the allegedly suspicious R6.8 billion worth of transactions between the Guptas and their companies.

Meanwhile, the Guptas' attorney Gert van der Merwe says the banks must now explain why they decided to close the family's accounts

"I will force them to do that because the accounts are closed and I don't know why; I can't do business and how can that ever be fair?"

Up until now, legislation has prevented the banks from revealing information about their clients.

Van der Merwe also says he doesn't understand why Gordhan is worried about the R1.3 billion payment to the Optimum Coal Mine's rehabilitation account.

"I'm further gutted by the allegation that the money disappeared or is put away. I don't know where it comes from."

He says they never tried to force Gordhan to help them.

"It's never been argued by the family or any of the companies within the group, that the minister has a legal obligation to assist us."

And says none of these payments were illegal or suspicious in any way.

"I want to put it before the court an affidavit where I deal with each of these payments and I want to understand how it could ever be described as dubious."

Van Der Merwe says he still doesn't know why the banks decided to close these accounts.

He says he's going to explain all of these payments.