Zuma's lawyers abandon bid to intervene in Gupta case

Zuma wanted the court to strike Standard Bank’s application from the roll on grounds that it could interfere with the execution of the executive’s powers.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma’s legal team has abandoned its attempt to intervene in Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s application against Gupta-owned companies.

The High Court in Pretoria is hearing the minister’s application to have it declare that he has no authority to intervene in the Guptas' fight with the banks.

Zuma wanted the court to strike Standard Bank’s application from the roll on grounds that it could interfere with the execution of the executive’s powers.

Judge President Dunstan Mlambo told the president’s legal team that he has not formally applied to intervene and the court did not consider him a party before the court.

Advocate Matthew Chaskalson asked the court to strike Standard Bank’s relief from the roll.

He says this should be done on the basis that Zuma was not included in the matter as an interested party.

Mlambo wasn’t convinced, saying the president was given an affidavit in December but has only now chosen to act.

The Judge President suggested the best Chaskalson can do is sit down and watch proceedings, a suggestion the advocate accepted.

The court is first dealing with other application before it will hear the minister’s main application.

Meanwhile, Gupta-owned Sahara Computers filed fresh papers on Monday in which it disputes the authority of the State attorney to represent Gordhan.

The company has argued that Gordhan is using the courts to shield the banks from oversight and accountability.