The presidency has disputed a media report stipulating that President Jacob Zuma has been intentionally delaying the implementation of bank scrutiny legislation that could make it more difficult for politicians to engage in corruption.
“The story in Business Day, titled ‘Zuma sits on banks scrutiny legislation’, yesterday, on the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) Amendment Bill that has been brought to the president for his consideration and assent is misleading and incorrect,” the presidency said yesterday.
According to the article, the new law will result in the scrutiny of all politicians and their family members when transacting through the banking system. It claimed the legislation had stalled on the desk of Zuma, who is allegedly being petitioned not to sign it into law.
“The FIC Amendment Bill will require banks to perform enhanced due diligence on the ‘politically exposed’ in line with international obligations,” it continued. “It is these provisions that are already being applied by banks responsible for the withdrawal of banking services for the politically connected Gupta family and its companies.”
But the presidency said the delay was the result of Zuma receiving an objection to the signing of the bill from the Progressive Professionals Forum.
“When the president is petitioned not to sign a bill, he has to consider the merits of such objection,” it said. “It is not the first time the president has taken time to consider a bill for similar reasons. He has not signed the Expropriation Bill, the Private Security Industry Regulation Amendment Bill and the Protection of State Information Bill because various parties petitioned him not to. All these concerns are being looked into.
“He also sent the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill back to the National Assembly in 2015 on the grounds that certain provisions of the bill are unconstitutional.”