Treasury won't conduct Oakbay case in court of public opinion

National Treasury says Oakbay respondents should present their case in an appropriate forum.

FILE: SA Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan. Picture: Anthony Molyneaux/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - National Treasury has released a statement saying it has no intention of conducting the Oakbay case in the court of public opinion and will provide a comprehensive response when the Gupta-owned company files its answering affidavits.

This week, the Gupta family's attorney said they're ready to go to court to show the truth about the R6,8 billion worth of suspicious transactions, after Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan refused to drop his legal action against them.

Gordhan is seeking an application for a declaratory order that he's not able to force the banks to reopen their accounts with the Guptas.

In the statement, National Treasury asks lawyers representing the Oakbay group to respect the court process. It says it is peculiar to address the issues raised in the affidavit by way of media releases.

Treasury adds that Gordhan has presented his case under oath in an appropriate forum and it is incumbent on the Oakbay respondents to do the same, should they wish to oppose his version.

The affidavit by Gordhan doesn't make any pronouncements or interpretations on the Financial Intelligence Centre report, which flags several transactions as suspicious, but rather puts the material facts before the court.

The Gupta family lawyers insist they can prove that all these transactions are legal and offered the minister an opportunity to withdraw his application, which he has refused.

To read the court papers filed by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, click here.