Picture: BLOOMBERG
Picture: BLOOMBERG

Lawyers representing the business rescue practitioners of eight Gupta-linked companies withdrew their contempt of court proceedings against six of the 14 people they said were blocking access to information allowing them to do their work.

This is the latest development in a protracted legal battle between the practitioners and management of the eight companies, which include Optimum Coal, a company the Guptas bought in controversial circumstances from Glencore.

Optimum is at the heart of claims the Guptas abused close ties with former president Jacob Zuma to gain monetary benefit from state-owned enterprises.

In the matter, in which judgment was reserved until next week, Judge Ismail Mahomed grilled both legal teams on incidents at Oakbay Investments, the Gupta holding company of which the eight companies in business rescue were part.

Nico Horn, on behalf of the practitioners, suggested a suspended 30-day jail sentence for up to one year for those found guilty of contempt of a court order to give his clients unfettered access to company records held at Oakbay.

Gary Myburgh, on behalf of the respondents, dismissed the incidents as "storm in a tea cup".

seccombea@bdfm.co.za

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