Gupta execs in ‘turf war’ with rescuers | Fin24
  • National Carrier

    Fixing SAA means overcoming an 'organised crime syndicate', says former prosecutions boss Vusi Pikoli.

  • Fin24’s newsletter

    Sign up to receive Fin24's top news in your inbox every morning.


Gupta execs in ‘turf war’ with rescuers

Apr 15 2018 06:00
Dewald Van Rensburg

The business rescue practitioners of eight Gupta companies on Friday won a court order against executives who were trying to control their access to the family’s corporate headquarters – the Sandton offices of Oakbay Investments.

Four executives, including Ronica Ragavan and Pushpaveni Govender, who run several of the family’s companies, were slapped with a punitive cost order for opposing the application.

The rescue practitioners include Louis Klopper and Kurt Knoop. They said that, last week, the Gupta executives started forcing them to make written requests to visit the Oakbay offices from where the Gupta companies were all, to some extent, run. This was making it hard to get access to documents and do their job, they said.

The executives claimed that the rescuers were invading Oakbay and its subsidiaries’ right to privacy.

There are court cases pending between the parties and the rescuers might overhear sensitive conversations in the offices, they claimed in court.

Johannesburg High Court Judge Denise Fisher rejected this argument and said no evidence or even a specific allegation of impropriety against the rescuers had been produced – only that they were an inconvenience.

The Companies Act allowed business rescuers to take over the daily management of companies, Fisher said.

The rescuers asked for a punitive order against the four Gupta executives who opposed the application. Among those who were cited but who did not oppose the application was Salim Essa, the Gupta family’s best-known “lieutenant”.

“I agree with the counsel for the applicants that the application should not have been necessary,” Fisher wrote in her judgment.

“That the respondents have opposed the application suggests a vexatiousness which ... should attract the court’s censure.”

She ordered them to pay the rescue practitioners’ costs.

* SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE UPDATE: Get Fin24's top morning business news and opinions in your inbox.



Read Fin24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Company Snapshot

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...

Voting Booth

What's your view on deep sea mining?

Previous results · Suggest a vote