The embattled Gupta family could lose their private jet if a Canadian state-owned bank is granted authority by the High Court.
Export Development Canada has applied in the South Gauteng High Court to ground the plane, and the matter comes up Tuesday morning.
The bank had applied to ground the plane over concerns that Ajay Gupta might use it to flee from justice.
The bank was also reportedly concerned that Ajay Gupta might use the plane for other unlawful conduct.
The Gupta family bought the jet with a loan from the Canadian bank.
And if the court ruled in the Canadian bank’s favour, then the Guptas could lose their private jet.
The case would be heard at the South Gauteng High Court.
In 2015, the South African government under then president Jacob Zuma leased the private jet for then deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, a move that was widely condemned by the citizenry.
The Gupta family is widely believed to have had serious links with Zuma, resulting in a state capture during the latter’s presidency.
It apparently cost R5 million to lease the plane for a trip to Japan.
The Department of Defence claimed it had no choice but to hire a luxury plane to fly Ramaphosa to Japan.
It said the other aircraft were out of service, already in use or unsuitable for the long-haul flight.
“The capacity of those in our fleet is that we would have to make three or four stops before the destination and that is unsuitable for various reasons including security reasons,” said SANDF Spokesperson, Siphiwe Dlamini.
The Bombardier jet was apparently leased to government by Execujet, but the aircraft was registered with Westdawn Investments, a company owned by the Gupta family and Zuma’s son, Duduzane./enca