Gupta execs in ‘turf war’ with res­cuers

Swazi Observer - - BUSINESS -

JO­HAN­NES­BURG - The busi­ness res­cue prac­ti­tion­ers of eight Gupta com­pa­nies 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 best­known “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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Swaziland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.