JOHANNESBURG Nov 29 South Africa's wealthy
Gupta family, accused in a government corruption probe of
allegedly holding undue influence over President Jacob Zuma,
said on Tuesday it had asked a court to force a financial
regulator to give the family details concerning the closure of
its business accounts.
The country's four major banks, Barclay's,
Standard Bank, FNB and Nedbank early
in 2016 terminated the accounts of several companies, spanning
mining to media operations, controlled by the family under the
Johannesburg exchange listed Oakbay Resources.
The banks refused to make public their reasons for closing
the accounts. Analysts have said the banks were likely prompted
by concerns about reputational risk.
The Guptas have denied accusations that they have used their
friendship with Zuma to advance their interests as well
accusations of money laundering and fraud.
In the affidavit the family requested the High Court to
force the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) to provide details
of transactions totalling 6.8 billion rand ($493 million)
flagged as suspicious by the regulator in a report to Finance
Minister Pravin Gordhan.
An anti-graft probe published this month by the Public
Protector focused on claims that the brothers, Ajay, Atul and
Rajesh Gupta influenced the appointment of ministers.
It also called for an investigation into whether Zuma, some
of his cabinet members and some state companies had acted
improperly, triggering renewed calls for the president's
President Zuma, who on Monday was facing a motion to remove
him by members of his party, the ANC, has said that the Guptas
are his friends but denied doing anything improper.
($1 = 13.7952 rand)
(Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)