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Guptas challenge IDC’s lawyers in R287.5m case

Jan 21 2018 05:52
Dewald Van Rensburg

The Gupta family’s Oakbay group of companies has disputed that the Industrial Development Corporation’s (IDC’s) lawyers have the authority to represent the financier in its R287.5m case against the group.

This strange and unmotivated response is all that the Guptas’ lawyers, Vasco de Oliveira attorneys, have filed since the case was instituted at the Johannesburg High Court at the end of November last year.

This notice, disputing that the IDC had properly appointed ENSafrica, was filed on January 5, alongside a notice of intention to defend.

The IDC then filed a special board resolution “reaffirming” the appointment of ENS. This is to hurry things along and not because there is a real question around the appointment, it told City Press.

“There has been no reaction from the Oakbay group to the IDC’s response,” the IDC said via email this week.

The financier wants to reverse a 2014 transaction that saw it accept shares in the Guptas’ Oakbay Resources and Energy in return for accumulated interest on a loan, totalling R250 million, Oakbay owed the IDC.

The IDC claims that this trade was made on the basis of false representations from Oakbay - specifically that Oakbay was guilty of various crimes at the time while asserting in its contract with the IDC that it had no knowledge of criminal activity in its operations.

“Since the IDC has filed the power of attorney, it is the IDC’s considered view that this issue should in no way cause any delay in the hearing of the matter,” the funder told City Press. “Should the Oakbay group persist with this challenge, the IDC will take such steps as are necessary to deal with this matter.”

The case may yet air dirty laundry at the IDC. Its court papers so far have shown how the deal with Oakbay was amended by hand at the last moment to assure the share trade at the IDC’s expense. 

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idc  |  oakbay  |  gupta family
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