29/03/2017 12:34 SAST | Updated 30/03/2017 12:59 SAST

Gordhan vs Guptas: Standard Bank Wants High Court To Prevent All Ministers Intervening

'We know there are a number of ministers who, on record, have called upon Standard Bank to account'

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Standard Bank is arguing that Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan's declaratory order should be vertically extended to include preventing the cabinet ministers from intervening in banking matters.

"There is no reason to confine relief to the minister himself," argued advocate Vincent Maleka.

"It should extend to any act by a minister to intervene in banking matters."

Judge President of the Gauteng Division of the High Court Dunstan Mlambo wanted to know why Standard Bank can't simply get an interdict on an ad hoc basis or bring a new application to court.

Maleka argued that the court should simply extend Gordhan's relief. "We support the minister's relief, but seek to vertically extend it," he said.

He argued that an extended declaratory order would "resolve the issue once and for all".

"We know there are a number of ministers who, on record, have called upon Standard Bank to account," he argued. "The bank has recorded meetings with the inter-ministerial committee."

Explaining how Oakbay has acted against the bank, Maleka said Oakbay Group "has avoided the resolution of the despute through court proceedings".

"We have articulated a public campaign against Standard Bank to undermine the legitimacy of this decision. Oakbay has argued that the banks have acted anti-competitively and in a collusive manner," he said.

"If you say this, then the only institution which can resolve this by law is the Competition authorities. Oakbay has not approached the Competition authorities to do this."