Neither the Guptas nor the Hawks have been able to lay their hands on crucial transactional bank records involving the Gupta family’s companies referred to in the high court application brought by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan last month.
The minister seeks a declaratory order that he may not, by law, intervene in the decision by the country’s major banks to shut the Gupta business accounts. Absa, FirstRand, Nedbank and Standard Bank terminated their business with the Gupta-owned companies in what the family maintains was a politically motivated move.
The Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) provided reports on transactions mentioned in a certificate to Gordhan but not the actual transactions.
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Gupta family lawyer Gert van der Merwe said he has written twice to the FIC for information about the 72 reports it gave to Gordhan. This request has been declined.
He said the family’s legal requests for information from the various banks had also been declined.
He wants details of the transactions to prepare a responding affidavit. “I consulted Ajay Gupta on Wednesday and my instructions are that we will have to go to court as there is no other way for my clients to defend themselves.”
Van der Merwe was speaking after reports surfaced that the Gauteng head of the Hawks, Major General Prince Mokotedi, confirmed that a similar request by his officers was also rejected by the FIC.