The Gupta family, through their lawyers, Van der Merwe and Associates, have demanded that finance minister Pravin Gordhan pull a court application implicating the family in R6.8 billion worth of “suspicious payments” – and to pay the court costs.
The family issued the demand on Wednesday, and gave the minister until the end of the day to comply. Gordhan, however, indicated through his lawyers that he would not comply, and that the case will move ahead.
The Guptas’ lawyer letter said that Gordhan’s affidavit implicated the family in inappropriate and unlawful conduct and that Gordhan would “expose the fiscus not only to loss of tax revenue but also put the burden of mining rehabilitation on the fiscus.”
This, the family said, was “uncalled for, malicious and nothing but vexatious,” adding that Gordhan was wasting taxpayer money with the court application, in “a reckless and inappropriate manner”.
“In order that we do not expose the fiscus unnecessarily to costs we propose that the application be withdrawn,” the Gupta lawyers said.
The Gupta family’s position on the matter has changed significantly in just a matter of days, as a previous statement, issued on Tuesday, said that the family was “delighted” by the case, and for the opportunity to clear their name.
According to Wednesday’s letter, the family still wants to present its formal version before court, “since the Minister of Finance has chosen that forum”.
“(If the case is not dropped), the matter must proceed and we will gladly do the necessary in order to restore the misrepresentation created by the papers,” the Gupta legal team said.