Money laundering bill to ConCourt?

Pretoria - The Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment Bill could end up in the Constitutional Court after the Black Business Council threatened to take it there if Parliament approved it next week.

The council and the Progressive Professionals Forum (PPF) yesterday insisted that the bill was not consistent with the provisions of the constitution, and Parliament must not approve it.

However, the Banking Association of South Africa and the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution urged President Jacob Zuma to sign it into law as it was long overdue.

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The Constitutional Court File picture: Matthews Baloyi/Independent Media

Parliament will debate the bill next Tuesday before approving it.

It would then be sent to Zuma to sign it into law.

Black Business Council president Danisa Baloyi said they would not allow this bill to be approved or signed into law.

There were still many provisions in the bill that needed to be discussed. She said they were waiting for next Tuesday’s debate in the National Assembly.

“We are waiting for that debate. If it is adopted we will weigh our options, which include going to the Constitutional Court,” said Baloyi.

Mzwanele Manyi of the PPF also said they rejected the adoption of the bill by the finance committee and would urge Zuma not to sign it into law.

But Banking Association of South Africa managing director Cas Coovadia said they wanted Zuma to sign it urgently.

He said the bill was in line with the constitution.

“We are happy that the finance committee has agreed that the bill did bear constitutional muster,” said Coovadia.

They were happy that the bill was expedited by the finance committee in the National Assembly.

He said they maintained their view that the bill was urgent and that Zuma must sign it into law expeditiously.

Lawson Naidoo of the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac) said they also wanted Zuma to sign the bill into law urgently.

Casac has said previously that the Fica Bill was important in the fight against corruption, specifically money laundering, trafficking and the financing of terrorism.

Lawson said there was no basis for the delay in signing it into law after it has been approved by Parliament.

“Our concern is that the president must sign it quickly. The president must either sign the bill or send it to the Constitutional Court,” said Naidoo.

The bill was sent back to Parliament by Zuma late last year after the BBC and PPF raised objections on its constitutionality.

However, three senior counsels told the finance committee a few weeks ago that the bill met constitutional muster.

They said it met all the legal prescripts and was in line with the constitution.

Pretoria News

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