Standard Bank‘s counsel Ian Sinton has told the State Capture Inquiry that the bank’s initial concerns regarding the Guptas started when ABSA and KPMG distanced themselves from Gupta-linked businesses.
He says the bank’s concerns were further exacerbated by media reports about ANC MP Vytjie Mentor and former Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas’ claims that members of the Gupta family had unlawfully offered them cabinet positions.
Sinton says a request to pay funds, which were ring-fenced for the rehabilitation of a mine, into the Bank of Baroda account raised further suspicions.
He says ANC representatives had accused the bank of taking instructions from handlers in Stellenbosch to close down the accounts of the Guptas and their companies.
Sinton told the State Capture Inquiry sitting in Parktown that the ANC requested a meeting following the bank’s decision to close bank accounts belonging to the Guptas.
Sinton says the meeting which took place at Luthuli House in Johannesburg was attended by former ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, his deputy Jessie Duarte, and the party’s economic transformation sub-committee head Enoch Godongwana.
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