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Guptas obtain interdict against EFF

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Oakbay Investments, the Gupta family, The New Age, ANN7 and other subsidiary companies were yesterday granted an interdict by the Gauteng North High Court against the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and its leader Julius Malema.

The applicants asked the court for relief in view of the inflammatory statements issued by the EFF with their implicit threat of violence to the staff and property of Oakbay Investments subsidiary companies and the Gupta family.

In the main affidavit, CEO of Oakbay Investments Nazeem Howa said he and the applicants had a “substantial interest in having the freedom” to exercise their constitutionally-entrenched right to participate in the commerce and trade of the republic and were entitled to continue tom do so despite the threats issued by the EFF.

The court has ruled in favour of the applicants upholding their rights and those of the Gupta family as South African citizens to remain in South Africa and carry out business operations.

Howa made reference to the statements of Malema last week who at a press conference stated that the safety of the journalists working for The New Age and 24-hour news channel ANN7 could not be guaranteed at EFF events and further adding that the Guptas should leave South Africa.

Malema also referred to a letter written to the leadership of the EFF requesting explanation and withdrawal of the statements made by Malema and its Gauteng regional spokesperson who further threatened that “the Guptas must heed the call of EFF leader Julius Malema to vacate South Africa … otherwise, the predictability of what could happen to them and any of their properties, becomes a highly volatile matter. No one can guarantee their safety in this Gauteng.”

Howa said the statements contained an “unequivocal and clear message” that the EFF intended to use their members and resources to disrupt the businesses of the applicants and would stop by “no means to violently prevent the applicants from conducting their businesses on a day to day basis.

“Not only are these threats imminent and calling on violence but it further infringes on the constitutional rights of the applicants,” Howa said.

He said it was obvious from all the statements and correspondence that the EFF refused to withdraw any of the comments and threats of “imminent violence”.

Judge Willem Louw granted the interdict based on all the conditions requested by the plaintiffs.