JOHANNESBURG – The Democratic Alliance (DA) says while the president has signed the Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment (Fica) bill, it’s important that the implementation of the bill is monitored carefully.
The opposition party says Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba will be under political pressure to delay the implementation of the legislation to protect his political alliances.
President Jacob Zuma earlier referred the bill back to Parliament because of concerns he had about warrantless searches.
But Zuma was warned that failure to sign the bill into law would exposes the country to intense scrutiny and monitoring from financial action task force and that this may have damaging repercussion on the country’s economy.
The party says the Finance Minister needs to take decisive action and set out clear timeframes and budgets for the implementation of the bill.
DA’s Shadow Minister of Finance David Maynier says, “If he were to delay the implementation of the bill or the implementation of certain sections of the bill, then he would effectively delaying or interfering in the fight against corruption in South Africa.”
At the same time, law expert says this is an important piece of legislation as it will strengthen South Africa’s ability to deal with money laundering.
He was warned that failure to sign the bill into law would expose the country to intense scrutiny and monitoring from financial action task force and that this may have damaging repercussion on the country’s economy.
Law experts say the signing of the Fica bill into law brings the country in line with international norms and standards.
Executive secretary of the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution Lawson Naidoo.
“This is a big step forward and it’s something it’s something that Casac welcomes very warmly.”
The Presidency’s Bongani Ngqulunga says Zuma is now comfortable with the bill and what it will do for the country.
“This includes tax evasion, money laundering and the financing of terrorism and illicit financial flows.”
The amendments also make it harder for persons who are involved in illegitimate activities or tax evasion to hide behind legal entities like shell companies and trusts.