Standard Bank asked the High Court to prevent President Jacob Zuma and any of his ministers from intervening in its decision to close accounts of companies associated with the Gupta family.

The appeal goes a step further than an order sought by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, who in October approached the court for a ruling that he doesn’t have the authority to interfere with whom banks choose as clients. 

Gordhan took the steps after the Guptas – who are friends of Zuma, in business with one of his sons and employed one of his wives – repeatedly tried to pressure him into getting the banks to overturn their decision.

Ministerial threats to review South Africa’s banking regulations and comments from Zuma that he is considering requests for a judicial commission of inquiry to investigate the Gupta account closures have no “legal basis”, Standard Bank’s general counsel said in an affidavit filed in the Pretoria High Court on Wednesday. – Bloomberg