SOUTH AFRICAN PARLIAMENT TO CHALLENGE PRESIDENT ON ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING BILL

The South African Parliament is to challenge the opinion of the Presidency that the Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment (Fica) Bill may be unconstitutional.

The Chairman of Parliament's Standing Committee on Finance, Yunus Carrim, said Tuesday that the committee had done all it could to ensure that the Bill is constitutionally sound.

President Jacob Zuma last week declined to sign the Bill into law, saying it might not pass constitutional muster.

Carrim was responding in parliament to remarks by the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) opposition oarty that the president's failure to sign the Bill would frustrate the efforts to fight financial crimes.

Carrim said the committee would reconsider the Bill carefully, but the members were convinced it is constitutionally sound.

"Without the Fica Bill, part of what we are doing here does not carry weight. We have to act against financial crimes and we have to expedite the process," Carrim said.

"These are the views of the lawyers in the Presidency. Other lawyers may come to a different opinion. It doesn't mean because it comes from the Presidency's lawyers therefore Parliament must tremble and buckle.

"No, we are not going to do that. We are going to get independent legal advice and if the Presidency's lawyers are wrong they are just wrong."

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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