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Standard Bank on Wednesday filed an explosive affidavit in the High Court in Pretoria appealing for protection against executive interference in the bank and detailing the extensive political pressure it came under from the ANC, Cabinet ministers and Oakbay after its closed the company’s accounts. The affidavit is in support of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s application for a declaratory order from the court, confirming that he does not have the authority to intervene in relationships between banks and their clients. Standard Bank, which is also named as a respondent, has gone further than Gordhan’s application, asking the court to confirm that no member of the executive, and not just the finance minister, may interfere in banking relationships. The affidavit by group counsel Ian Sinton also reveals that Standard Bank was asked to meet both the ANC as well as the Cabinet inter-ministerial committee, in an attempt to place it under political pressure to reverse its decision. The a...

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