By Staff Writer
In November 2016, President Jacob Zuma had received the FICA (Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment Act), but sent it back to parliament as he believed that provisions for searches being conducted without a warrant were unconstitutional.
It only took three months for lawmakers to approve changes to the legislation that clarified the behaviour of officials carrying out inspections, and returned it to Zuma for his signature.
Saturday, 29 April 2017, the Presidency confirmed that President Jacob Zuma signed FICA into law.
“The president is now satisfied that the Act addresses the constitutional concerns he had raised about warrantless searches,” Zuma’s office said in an emailed statement Saturday. The amended law “sends a strong message about South Africa’s commitment to combating financial crime, protecting the integrity of our financial system and our tax base, and remaining part of the global financial system”.
The changes will make it more difficult for people to hide behind shell companies and trusts, and also help the government fight terrorism financing, the presidential office said.
The Financial Action Task Force, a Paris-based intergovernmental organisation that sets global standards in fighting financial crimes, gave South Africa a June deadline to comply with its benchmarks, which included the amended act.
- @CASACZA – We welcome @PresidencyZA signing FICA Bill into law at last. Let’s get on with fighting corruption and money laundering.
- @SbuSheshani – White people are assuming that the FICA bill will only deal with black people, in fact, it will start with them as they’re the most corrupt people.
- @haydnhugh – Zuma signing the FICA bill could mean that the Guptas have taken their loot out OR they have kicked puppet Zuma to touch. No longer viable!
- @ANhlangeni – Zuma is afraid of the Concourt. He has now signed the FICA Bill into law because he would have had to answer to the Concourt. Guptas ayeye.