Financial Intelligence Centre to oppose EFF's attempts to unseal CR17-linked records
Johannesburg – The Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) says it plans to oppose the EFF's High Court application to unseal documents linked to the Public Protector's CR17 campaign investigation.
The FIC said on Wednesday it was named as a respondent in the matter filed by the EFF.
The EFF wants documents that the FIC provided to Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane be made public.
The documents were sealed, by order of the Deputy Judge President of the Gauteng High Court, during President Cyril Ramaphosa's review application heard by the court in February.
The documents form part of FIC's financial record reports collected by the centre from various financial institutions which are mandated to report financial transactions to the authority.
Mkhwebane used these documents as part of her investigation into the CR17 campaign.
The investigation had started as a probe into whether Ramaphosa had lied to Parliament regarding an R500 000 donation his campaign for the ANC presidency in 2017 had received from Bosasa. Mkhwebane broadened the investigation and found that Ramaphosa's campaign broke financial law.
The High Court found in Ramaphosa's favour in the review application and concluded that Mkhwebane had unlawfully investigated the CR17 campaign when she had no legal basis to do so.
Mkhwebane is currently appealing the matter at the Constitutional Court.
The FIC said the EFF's application had no legal basis as the matter of whether the documents should be sealed or not would not have any bearing on the Concourt appeal.
"The FIC has considered its obligations under the act and has concluded that it is obliged to protect the confidentiality of the information obtained from it, particularly, but not exclusively because the case for which the information was required has been decided and the appeal record before the Constitutional Court does not include the sealed documents, and therefore they will play no role in the appeal.
’’The information obtained from the FIC is confidential and the FIC is under a statutory duty to maintain that confidentiality, and this is what it is doing," the organisation said.
"The FIC has therefore opposed the EFF’s application to unseal the information obtained from the FIC report, as unsealing the report would make public the contents of the FIC’s report, the effect of which will render the contents of its report public, in contravention of the act.
"The FIC is implementing what the act requires of it by protecting the confidentiality of the information and it is doing so independently of the interests of any party to the litigation," it said.