Guptas: Gordhan response a case of reverse victim syndrome

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan is asking a judge to order that he does not have the power to force banks to reopen the Gupta’s accounts.

FILE: Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan speaks to potential investors at a Brand South Africa briefing at the World Economic Forum in Switerland on 17 January 2017. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The Gupta-owned company Oakbay Investments say Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s legal response against them that was filed on Monday is a case of reverse victim syndrome.

On Monday, Gordhan said in his papers that the real plot was the highly organised campaign by the Guptas and their associates against the National Treasury, himself and others.

Gordhan is asking a judge to order that he does not have the power to force banks to reopen the Gupta’s accounts, in a case that’s revealed that the Guptas were involved in R6.8 billion worth of suspicious transactions.

In a statement issued Monday, the Gupta family say that Gordhan’s affidavit is a case of reverse victim syndrome because he came after them and smeared their name with a flawed list of transactions.

They also say that he used his unique executive power to obtain that information and that he now questions the manner of their response to him.

Gordhan also strongly denied the Gupta’s claims that he was leading a conspiracy of business leaders against the family, saying the claim doesn’t make sense, as they had earlier asked for his help.

The Finance Minister also says that the Guptas have not explained the source of this claim or how they came to hear of it.

REFERENCE TO PUBLIC PROTECTOR’S REPORT

In his legal papers, Gordhan refers several times to the Public Protector’s state capture report, which suggests the Gupta family may have had the political power to influence Cabinet appointments.

He says the claim by the family that he asked business leaders to clip their wings is not backed up and that they have not revealed who the source of this claim is, how many sources they are and how the Gupta family came to hear of it.

Gordhan also disagrees with the Guptas’ claim that because the Hawks are not investigating these suspicious transactions, there can be no case against them.

He says the Financial Intelligence Centre has not yet finished its report and that he can personally attest to the fact that the Hawks appear to have other priorities.

That comment may be a reference to the investigation by the Hawks that led to the decision by the National Prosecuting Authority to charge him, before the charge was later withdrawn.

Gordhan further says the Oakbay companies haven’t actually responded properly to his arguments, and that Oakbay has actually behaved unreasonably in this case.

He also strongly denies the Gupta’s claims that he asked business leaders to clip their wings, and say that they have not shown how they could possibly have said this.

Gordhan says it doesn’t make sense for the Guptas to first ask for his help in dealing with the banks, and to now claim that he was responsible for their decision to stop doing business with their companies.

He also says they have claimed that there is a long and unfortunate political history between himself and the family, but that in the letters they wrote to him, there is no mention of this history.

The minister also says the Guptas have used this court case to, as he says, “make allegations against me which not even the New Age could credibly disseminate”.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)