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Jacob Zuma signs contentious financial Bill into law

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Jacob Zuma signs contentious financial Bill into law

South African President Jacob Zuma
South African President Jacob Zuma has signed the once-controversial Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment Bill into law, his office has said.

The Bill amends the Financial Intelligence Centre Act of 2001, which, along with other related laws, aims at combating money laundering and financing of terrorism.

The changes also strengthen transparency and integrity of the financial system as it combats tax evasion, money laundering and other crimes.

The amendments make it harder for criminals to hide behind legal entities like shell companies and trusts.

Jacob Zuma signs contentious financial Bill into law

Last year, Parliament passed the Bill but the president refused to sign it into law, saying certain provisions were not in line with the constitution.

Zuma raised concern with the provisions of the Bill relating to warrantless searches.

He said it would limit South Africans’ right to privacy.

Parliamentarians then adjusted the Bill to include safeguarding personal information.

The new law provides for the implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolutions relating to freezing of assets of people associated with terrorism.

“The President is happy that the Bill addresses the concerns he raised,” Zuma’s office said in a statement.

“The Act sends a message about South Africa’s commitment to combating financial crime, protecting the integrity of our financial system and tax base and remaining part of the global system,” presidential spokesperson Bongani Ngqulunga said.

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