Oakbay slams Gordhan application as waste of time | Fin24
 
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Oakbay slams Gordhan application as waste of time

Aug 18 2017 15:06
Lameez Omarjee

Johannesburg – Former finance minister Pravin Gordhan’s court application, seeking declaratory relief from intervening in the relationship between banks and Oakbay, is a waste of time, the Gupta-owned company said in a statement.

On Friday Judge Aubrey Ledwaba dismissed the application, with costs to be carried by the minister of finance.

“Oakbay welcomes today's ruling by the North Gauteng High Court and the award of costs,” the group said.

“We have said all along that this application by the former finance minister was a waste of valuable court time, especially as it was brought at the taxpayers' expense.”

Oakbay said the costs to be awarded will be used for a new project to fund underprivileged university students in South Africa.

The group also expressed its gratitude towards the independence of the judiciary system, which acted on facts and not on “rumours and media speculation”.

According to the judgment, the court viewed the application by the minister as "unnecessary". "We hold the strong view that this application was clearly unnecessary in the circumstances of this case. Such circumstances do not warrant that the court exercises its discretion to grant the declaratory relief by pronouncing itself on an undisputed legal question, which has previously been confirmed in judgments.

The judgment also explained that the judiciary could not exercise functions of the National Executive. "To grant the minister the declaratory relief would allow the judiciary to stray into the exercise of executive functions where the circumstances do not warrant this involvement."

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba will not appeal the court's ruling. According to a statement issued by Treasury, the minister will not contest the judgment. “The Minister of Finance accepts and respects today’s High Court judgment on Oakbay and will not appeal it. The Minister will abide by the court judgment,” the statement read.

Oakbay also reiterated that it supports a Judicial Commission of Inquiry into state capture.

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pravin gordhan  |  gupta family  |  state capture
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