#Habibbank Sale – Separating facts from fiction
Cii Radio| Ayesha Ismail| 31 March 2017| 02 Rajab 1438
North Gauteng High Court Judge Ronel Tolmay on Friday threw out Vardospan’s urgent court application.
Vardospan -headed by Hamza Farooqui and Salim Essa, filed the urgent application on Monday to review and set aside the alleged failure by registrar of banks and South African Reserve Bank (SARB) deputy governor Kuben Naidoo and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan to determine its application and grant it permission to buy a majority stake in Habib Overseas Bank and be registered as the controlling company.
The agreement Vardospan made with Pitcairns Finance on August 31 2016 to purchase a majority stake was based on condition that they receive regulatory approval by January 31 2017, extended to March 31 2017. The Competition Commission had approved the merger.
Tolmay said there was still room for Vardospan to negotiate an extension. She concluded that the urgency was “self-created”.
“The merits of the application was not heard, at the end of the day there was no grounds for urgency”, Farooqi said during an interview with Cii Radio this morning.
“The matter could not have been finalised today… Waiting for the eleventh hour to bring the application, the applicants brought their own demise,” said Tolmay.
“The application is still alive, the only thing that has been struck off is the urgency,”… efforts are ongoing,” said Farooqi.
Links with Gupta Family
When asked about the Gupta’s association with the sale of the bank, Farooqi confidently replied that it is important to separate fact from fiction, adding that this is a perception built up by people.
He further commented about his partner’s business relationship with the Gupta’s, not him.
“Salim Essa has partnership with the Gupta family, I dont” said Farooqi, “to assume that there are links with the Gupta’s is a fiction”
However, Farooqi remians confident in his commitment in building a banking platform and says that the doors are not shut, he will continue fighting to build his vision of a 100 percent Muslim owned bank. He believes that when the time is right it will happen with the will and decree of Allah.
Something to think about is the participation of the community, people need to introspect. Farooqi ended off by saying that “If people from our community excel, then the community excels”.
When asked what message he has for the youth of South Africa, Farooqui replied, “Have faith, listen to your parents and work hard”.