POLITICS

MPs To Challenge Zuma On Crucial Financial Intelligence Bill

MPs on the Standing Committee on Finance will today decide how to push back after President Jacob Zuma's refusal to sign a crucial piece of legislation.

07/12/2016 11:24 SAST | Updated 07/12/2016 11:53 SAST
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Yunus Carrim, ANC chairperson of the Standing Committee on Finance. His committee will today decide on a push back strategy after President Jacob Zuma sent crucial financial legislation back to Parliament.

Parliament's Standing Committee on Finance is meeting on Wednesday to decide on a push back strategy after President Jacob Zuma sent a bill designed to check illicit financial transactions back to the legislature.

Yunus Carrim, committee chairperson and MP from the African National Congress (ANC), told HuffPost his committee would be seeking legal opinions from Parliament and national Treasury. "We will also be appointing a senior counsel to advise us."

We will also be appointing a senior counsel to advise us.Yunus Carrim, chairperson of the Standing Committee on Finance

Zuma sent the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) Amendment Bill back to Parliament, citing concerns about its constitutionality in regards to searches in the absence of a warrant. The clauses in the bill authorising this falls short of constitutional provisions, he argues.

The bill — which has been in the making for more than a year and was passed by the National Assembly in May — requires banks to keep tabs on prominent and influential people and in- and outflows from their bank accounts.

According to Fin24, these include top government officials, from the president down to municipal managers, as well as senior businesspeople and individuals that do business with the state.

The bill also seeks to bring into line local legislation with international treaties and standards to which the South African banking and regulatory system is party to.

The bill — which has been in the making for more than a year and was passed by the National Assembly in May — requires banks to keep tabs on prominent and influential people and in- and outflows from their bank accounts.

Carrim told Parliament on Tuesday MP's will not be bullied: "Parliament is not going to tremble and buckle just because the president's lawyers say the bill is unconstitutional. If the presidency's lawyers are wrong, they're wrong."

Mcebisi Jonas, deputy minister of finance, told Parliament during the second reading debate on the Financial Sector Regulation Bill on Tuesday that there may be difficulties ahead with regulation of the financial sector because the FIC bill has not been ratified.

There may be difficulties ahead with regulation of the financial sector because the FIC Bill has not been ratified.Mcebisi Jonas, deputy minister of finance.

The Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac) earlier launched legal proceedings in the Constitutional Court to force Zuma to sign the bill.

Zuma has since been petitioned by, among others, Mzwanele Manyi from the Progressive Professionals Forum, not to sign the bill because it would hamper opportunities for emerging business people.