The Gupta family has fired what a Daily Maverick report describes as ‘an audacious R1bn lawsuit’ at its one-time business partner Dr Iqbal Survé and former Public Investment Corporation boss Dr Daniel Matjila.

Oakbay Investments – the only Gupta entity not in business rescue – claims that Survé and his companies Sekunjalo Investment Holdings and Sekunjalo Independent Media had colluded with Matjila to unlawfully deprive them of taking up a 50% stake in the company.

The case draws Survé and Matjila into a common battle against the Guptas, who are now living in self-imposed exile in Dubai.

The DM says it was unable to obtain comment from Survé but notes Matjila is defending the claim. Matjila’s lawyer Brett Murison confirmed receipt of the summons, saying his client ‘most definitely’ intends opposing the claim as well as the unsubstantiated one of collusion, and has filed a notice to that effect.

In court papers, Oakbay states that Survé and his companies had colluded ‘on more than one occasion’ with each other and Matjila to ‘manufacture’ and postulate a decision on behalf of the PIC to block the Guptas acquiring a stake in the media company. And, that in doing so, they had allegedly unlawfully and wilfully conducted themselves in a way to obstruct the execution of a call-option agreement intended to give the Guptas a 50% stake in Independent Media.

This has caused Oakbay ‘severe harm,’ resulting in damages of R1bn, calculated as the value of the option shares had the agreement been implemented, Oakbay stated in its summons.

Oakbay is also seeking the repayment of R20m it says it coughed up in fees for the deal.

Full Daily Maverick report