Guptas ‘accustomed to hostility’ against them‚ says lawyer
A lawyer acting for the Gupta family has insisted that their version of events be included in the state capture report drawn up by the public protector.
Gert van der Merwe‚ who has represented the family for the past few years‚ told Radio 702 on Tuesday: “I’m still of the view that the report should incorporate my client’s view. They are the people purported to be the culprits but never being afforded the opportunity to respond.”
And‚ he said‚ he intended to reply in detail to questions raised around 72 transactions amounting to nearly R7-billion which were flagged by major banks.
The transactions were revealed in an explosive affidavit filed by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan‚ who is asking the courts to rule that he cannot intervene in a dispute between the influential family and banks which closed their accounts.
Asked how the family were coping as a storm of controversy swirls around them‚ he said: “It’s obviously unpleasant for them but there is not much they can do.
“There is a perception of the fact that there is a hostility out there and they are accustomed to that.”
His advice to the family had been to stay out of the public spotlight. “Now it’s simply impossible‚ we all know that‚” he conceded.
Van Rooyen told the same station last week that his clients would not seek to interdict the release of the report‚ but warned that they could take on review should it have “adverse conclusions” against them.
– TMG Digital