Oakbay CEO Nazeem Howa calls it quits, citing health reasons

Tracy FergusonOct 19, 2016

"After a period of illness, Mr. Howa has stepped down from his duties at Oakbay due to health issues and medical advice", a company statement announcing Howa's decision said.

"In response to recent media reports regarding legal proceedings involving Oakbay Resources, the Company wishes to advise its shareholders that of the 72 transactions reported to the Financial Intelligence Centre ("the FIC") in terms of section 29 of the Financial Intelligence Centre Act ("the FIC Act"), five transactions relate to the Company, or its subsidiary company", the company said in a statement.

According to a report in the Daily Maverick by Amabhungane news, court papers filed by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan that contain details of "suspicious" bank transactions by Gupta-owned companies totalling nearly R7bn. It feels as if something is moving toward an end game."Oakbay denialGary Naidoo, a spokesperson for the Gupta family spokesman, and Nazeem Howa, chief executive officer of Oakbay Investments, which is owned by the Guptas, didn't answer calls to their mobile phones".

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He has been quoted as saying it has been an honour to lead such a talented group of co-workers and in time Oakbay will be recognised as the type of company South Africa needs: innovative, job creating, tax paying and law abiding.

In the court papers, it shows letters written by Howa asking Gordhan to intervene by asking the banks to reopen their accounts.

Van der Merwe says he is going to force the banks to disclose the reason they made a decision to close the Gupta's bank accounts as it is unfair for business.

South Africa's credit rating in jeopardy over Gordhan prosecution
The political wrangling and uncertainty may weigh on South Africa's credit rating, which is up for review by S&P in December. Abrahams on Tuesday said he believed that Zuma, who is now visiting Kenya, knew about the prosecution.

Parties in Parliament have called for the investigation of the Guptas by the police and the Hawks for the suspicious transactions of R6.83bn.

Up until now, legislation has prevented the banks from revealing information about their clients.

Gupta lawyer, Gert van der Merwe, says none of the payments listed in Gordhan's documents are suspicious. "I don't know where it comes from".

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