Wed, 23 Sep 2020

"We indicate the fact that the conduct of the parties and their innocence is a relevant factor when courts determine, where the court simply reviews and sets decisions aside.

"It (our case) looks at the conduct of the parties in the resultant transactions and says it would not be fair to disregard the conduct in that transaction," said Motau.

Motau mentioned some of the nine companies that got the reserve stock in the transaction - including Taleveras Oil, Venus Rays and Vitol Energy - saying the transaction cannot be exempt from scrutiny in the courts, even if the respondents contend that they were not aware of any impropriety.

"Venus [Rays'] contention that they are innocent makes no sense. It's not a matter of their innocence," he said.

He added: "We say, properly construed in this context, Vitol [Energy's] claim cannot withstand scrutiny in trying to skew the process in its favour.

"As a matter of logic, that reasoning is flawed. We are not contending that they paid a bribe, but not paying a bribe does not secure the desired results," Motau said.

READ | Strategic Fuel Fund maintains challenge to 2015 oil stock sale despite price slump

On the contention of innocence by Vitol, Motau plainly said:

"The claim of innocence on Vitol's part cannot reasonably be made in this case. It is so farfetched and so improbable that Your Lordship can simply dismiss it."

Motau said examples of skewing specifications in the transaction were reasons enough for the court to dismiss the preponderance of innocence of the firms that benefited.

Judge Rogers adjourned on Monday afternoon and asked that the applicants conclude arguments on Tuesday morning.

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