President Jacob Zuma has denied delaying the signing of the Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment (Fica) Bill, which he subsequently sent back to Parliament because of concerns, the Business Day reported.
The bill was adopted by Parliament six months. Zuma was accused of buckling under pressure from the Progressive Professionals Forum (PPF) and the Black Business Council (BBC), which appealed to him not to sign the bill into law.
The paper said Zuma's denial was contained in an affidavit signed on November 28 and filed in the Constitutional Court in response to an application by the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac) for an order compelling Zuma to deal with the bill, which is required for SA to meet its international obligations to the Financial Action Task Force.
Zuma said there objections which needed to be addressed before he could sign it into law. He said given the importance of the bill, its complexity and novel provisions such as the concepts of 'domestic prominent influential person' and 'family members and known associates' and the impact on protected rights, the legal advisers decided to obtain legal advice.
"Several objections against the signing of the Fica Bill were received at different times. Each time an objection was received the Fica Bill had to be reconsidered in light of the objection. The legal advisers would also repeat the process of reconsideration," Zuma said.
The presidency said it also had to engage with the Treasury on the bill.