The Guptas’ Oakbay Investments wanted the ANC to put pressure on the country’s big four banks to reopen their accounts. That is according to former ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, who led a party delegation that met with the banks in 2016 after the closure of the accounts. Mantashe was testifying at the state-capture commission on Tuesday in response to testimony by Absa, Standard Bank, Nedbank and First National Bank. He is the first ANC leader to appear before the commission. The banks were called to meetings at the ANC’s Luthuli House headquarters in Johannesburg by Mantashe, his deputy Jessie Duarte and head of the economic transformation subcommittee Enoch Godongwana. FNB was the only bank that did not meet the ANC officials.

From February to September 2016, the four banks closed the bank accounts of the Gupta family and their companies. The family was seen as politically exposed. Altogether R7bn in “suspicious and unusual” transactions involving Gupta family member...

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