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Court: Gordhan’s application for declaratory order unnecessary

The court has dismissed with costs former Finance Minister Gordhan’s application for a declaratory order to state that the minister can’t get involved in Gupta bank fight.

FILE: Former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. Picture: Bertram Malgas/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The High Court in Pretoria says former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan didn’t have to intervene in the dispute between Gupta-owned companies and the banks, saying his application for a declaratory order giving effect to this would have drawn the judiciary into the functions of the executive.

The court has dismissed with costs Gordhan’s application for a declaratory order to state that the minister can’t get involved in Gupta bank fight.

The former Finance Minister turned to the court after the Gupta family asked him to intervene when the country’s four big financial institutions cut ties with the family citing reputational risk.

The court says Gordhan’s application was unnecessary because the law is clear in that no member of the Executive may interfere in a private bank client dispute.

The judgement says in his application, Gordhan, as a member of the national executive, wanted to draw the judiciary into the exercise of his executive functions, calling this inappropriate.

It adds that to grant the minister the declaratory relief would allow the judiciary to interfere in executive functions where circumstances do not warrant its involvement.

LISTEN: Unpacking the Gordhan-Gupta bank case

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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