Cor­rup­tion Watch ques­tions Gi­gaba on Fica time frames

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - ANA

COR­RUP­TION Watch has writ­ten to Fi­nance Min­is­ter Malusi Gi­gaba re­quest­ing the date on which the Fi­nan­cial In­tel­li­gence Cen­tre Amend­ment (Fica) Bill – one of the most im­por­tant leg­isla­tive weapons in the fight against money laun­der­ing in South Africa – would be im­ple­mented and the time frames sup­port­ing such an im­ple­men­ta­tion.

The watch­dog or­gan­i­sa­tion said its let­ter to Gi­gaba was also sent to Yunus Car­rim, chair­per­son of Par­lia­ment’s stand­ing com­mit­tee on fi­nance.

“Gi­gaba is re­spon­si­ble for de­ter­min­ing the date on which the leg­is­la­tion must com­mence, but Cor­rup­tion Watch is con­cerned that suf­fi­cient mea­sures might not have been put into place in or­der for the leg­is­la­tion to be­come ef­fec­tive be­fore the next review of the Fi­nan­cial Ac­tion Task Force (FATF), and whether these de­fi­cien­cies will re­sult in South Africa fail­ing to meets its FATF obli­ga­tions,” the or­gan­i­sa­tion said yes­ter­day.

“The FATF holds its next ple­nary ses­sion from June 21 to 23 and had de­layed mak­ing a pub­lic state­ment on South Africa’s Fica progress un­til after that meet­ing.”

FATF mon­i­tors coun­try mem­bers’ com­pli­ance with anti-ter­ror­ism and anti-money laun­der­ing reg­u­la­tions.

The bill was fi­nally signed into law by Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma in April after he had sent it back to the na­tional assem­bly over con­cerns re­gard­ing searches with­out war­rants.

The law pro­vided for on­go­ing mon­i­tor­ing of the busi­ness re­la­tion­ships, sources of wealth and sources of funds of do­mes­tic prom­i­nent in­flu­en­tial per­sons, their family mem­bers and close as­so­ci­ates.

The DA had pre­vi­ously raised its con­cerns with the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the law, al­leg­ing that Gi­gaba may de­lay it be­cause of Zuma’s close ties to the con­tro­ver­sial Gupta family.

“What this means is that Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma and his most im­por­tant clients, the Gup­tas, are go­ing to feel the heat as their busi­ness re­la­tion­ships, sources of wealth, and sources of funds are sub­jected to on­go­ing mon­i­tor­ing by fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions in South Africa,” DA spokesper­son David Maynier said two months ago.

Min­is­ter of Fi­nance Malusi Gi­gaba. PHOTO: BON­GANI SHILUBANE

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