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Radebe: Govt talks on banks' Gupta decision 'ongoing'

Apr 29 2016 14:31
Thulani Gqirana, News24

Oakbay chair Atul Gupta and President Jacob Zuma at a Protea vs India T20 cricket match in Johannesburg in 2012. (Photo: GCIS)

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NEDBANK GROUP LIMITED [JSE:NED]

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STANDARD BANK GROUP LIMITED [JSE:SBK]

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Cape Town – The ministers tasked with intervening in the ongoing stand-off between South Africa’s big four banks and the Gupta-owed Oakbay Investments are only expected to report back in two weeks.

Minister for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Jeff Radebe told journalists on Friday that the process is ongoing.

“My understanding is that at the next Cabinet meeting, there will be a report back by those three ministers. We will get a proper report on that. I have nothing to add to what I said last week.”

On April 21 the minister said Mines Minister Mosebenzi Zwane, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan had been tasked to intervene after the banks cut ties with the Gupta-owned business.

"Cabinet noted the actions by the four banks that gave notice to close the bank account of a company," he said. "Whilst Cabinet appreciates the terms and conditions of the banks, the acts may deter future potential investors who may want to do business in South Africa."

The banks - Standard Bank [JSE:SBK], FNB, Absa and Nedbank [JSE:NED] as well as accounting firm KPMG and sponsor Sasfin Capital - severed ties with the Gupta-owned firm.

Insisting this is not an investigation but an intervention, Radebe said Cabinet is concerned that the move could deter future investors.

On Friday, Radebe refused to comment on reports that Gordhan was not pleased about being assigned the task.

This week, it was reported that Gordhan had not been in the meeting where it was decided that the ministers would intervene, and had not appreciated being selected.

“I think you’d better ask him,” Radebe said.

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