Heated public hearings into FIC Bill
A Parliamentary committee is conducting public hearing into the controversial FIC Bill that has been sent back to Parliament by President Jacob Zuma.
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25 Jan 17:08
Carrim wraps up the
public hearings and thanks all stakeholders for their representations.
25 Jan 17:03
Yunis Carrim: White
monopoly capital are the primary agents of illicit financial flows. It’s them
who should feel victimised, not the Black Business Council. The target here is
not black emerging capital.
25 Jan 17:02
Yunus Carrim: When this issue
arose Mr Momoniat said we need to finish quickly (with the bill) because
there’s a FATF meeting in February. But we’re not going to do that. Mr Momoniat
will need to go and explain at the FATF meeting (about the fact that the bill
hasn’t been signed into law yet).
25 Jan 17:01
Ismail Momoniat: We
cannot scrap this bill. It would be irresponsible and take this country
backwards. South Africa opted to go beyond Peps to Pips (politically
25 Jan 17:00
Ismail Momoniat: Cabinet
has long discussions about these things. Looking at the consequences for the
country — this was discussed in great detail. I’m not sure it’s true to say
we’re going beyond what FATF requires. We took too long to put some of these
measures in place. By 2012 the world incorporated domestic Peps (politically
exposed persons). In 2019 we’ll be asked about our compliance. Other countries
are compliant with the foreign Peps — we’re not. Look at the US Parliament.
People are outraged. A Finish delegation is also enraged. The concept of Peps
is draconian, but all countries are expected to comply. I would invite whoever
says we’re going beyond international standards to tell us how exactly.
25 Jan 16:49
Ismail Momoniat: The
standards that are there we are doing because it is in our interest. It has
nothing to do with the fact that they are international standards. If there’s
abuse — whether from banks or business — we will regulate everybody. The
legislative tools we have enable us to do so. Once we’ve dealt with the
president’s reservations we need to deal with this bill quickly.
25 Jan 16:47
Ismail Momoniat: We
joined FATF under former President Nelson Mandela. Already we are concerned
that in our neighbouring countries the necessary standards are not in place.
And it has a huge developmental impact. We need to take the developmental
issues into account. I’d ask those who are calling for the bill to be scrapped
to consider the poor people. This is like a credit rating. We don’t want to go
there. The issue of abuse by banks — we agree that there are problems. We are
coming with a tough regime to make banking safer for SA. Part of that is to
treat customers fairly. Stripping the powers of inspection will make it difficult
for us to regulate these things.
25 Jan 16:45
(Treasury): The legal situation is clear and there seems to be consensus. It
would have been helpful if the BBC and PPF could have provided legal opinions.
We hear their concerns though. It’s important that we understand the
consequences (of the delay). There’s a lot of misunderstanding about the
underlying thinking of the FATF recommendations. The standards are there, and
we implement them on behalf of cabinet. But scrapping this bill would be a
disaster for this country. When we go to the FATF meetings we go in a huge
delegation and argue our case. Scrapping this bill will have serious
consequences. What’s critical is that we’ve taken those standards because they
are essential in fighting corruption.
25 Jan 16:41
Corruption Watch: Why do
we need this bill to be finalised so speedily? It’s important for us to have
this legislation because it guides law enforcement agencies to understand who
certain companies are. The FIC’s ability to identify certain actions and work
with law enforcement agencies will be hampered if this bill is delayed.
25 Jan 16:36
Cas Coovadia: I was told
to stick with the issue (of the president’s reservation about the Bill’s
constitutionality). We will participate fully in the process (public hearings
that will take place on 14 March).
25 Jan 16:31
Why the delay in signing the Bill. In his answering affidavit, the President
set out the reasons for the delay. Essentially the process the president
described was that the objections were considered by a legal team. The second
set of objections were received in September. External legal opinions were
received. We cannot speculate about the delay — that’s the explanation we
received. Most importantly, there shouldn’t be any further delays.
25 Jan 16:26
Baloyi: Mr Maynier, you
haven’t seen the last of us. We have a term of office like you do. We’ve only
been in office for three months. We will engage with you. We apologise if we’ve
created the impression that we’ve leapfrogged into this process.
25 Jan 16:24
Baloyi: The concerns we’re
raising are legitimate. I wouldn’t say people’s accounts are being closed if
it’s not true. We’re grateful for the fact that there’s going to be a
public hearing on transformation in the financial sector. I think it will be
good for all of us — whether we’re pink, or green or yellow.
25 Jan 16:23
Danisa Baloyi: We dealt
with Section 45B(1C). We respect the rules you’re abiding by. The banks have
constitutional standing. That’s our gripe. We want institutions of state to be
responsible for regulatory framework. We are the people in this country and we
should be listened to. We sit here today, but we are made to feel that we don’t
belong here and that we’re aliens from outer space. But we are the country. If
you believe we’re putting nonsense across — we carry the voices of people out
there who don’t have access to Parliament.
25 Jan 16:20
Baloyi: We as the BBC
can never undermine the processes that deal with corruption. But we want to
remove the fact that corruption has been given a black face. The only people
who are corrupt in this country are (perceived as being) black. Those are the
kinds of things we need to deal with.
25 Jan 16:19
Danisa Baloyi: Why
didn’t we respond during the Bill deliberation process? We weren’t in charge at
the time. But we take collective responsibility for that mishap. I must say
that not understanding how Parliament works — I do understand how business works.
I find it disheartening to be told: ‘You need a workshop’. I’d never do this to
this committee. The credit we should get is that we made the FIC Bill popular.
We raised the profile of this Bill out there. Maybe that’s what Parliament
should have done, considering the impact this bill would have on
25 Jan 16:16
Manyi: Why did the
President attach our letters when he referred the Bill back to Parliament? I
think he wanted to say the committee is making a mistake and take note of the
BBC and the PPF’s objections. I think it must be clear that the issues the
President raised are constitutional. What would make sense at this stage is to
withdraw the Bill and send it back to Cabinet.
25 Jan 16:15
Manyi: There was a
particular individual who was suspended at SARS because of suspicious
transactions. For us as a decolonised organisation — say we have similar
“suspicious” transactions — this is how selective these things are. There’s no
consistency. This is because these matters need to be dealt with by the law
25 Jan 16:12
Manyi: I have not
(consulted with the Guptas).
25 Jan 16:11
David Maynier: I ask Mr
Manyi, has he consulted the Guptas in this approach (with the FIC Bill)?
25 Jan 16:09
Manyi: why are we
sitting here considering a Bill that will plunge us into a crisis? The
financial services is like cartel. Everybody talks to everybody. Our fear is
that because of this things can be done to deal with you.
25 Jan 16:07
Manyi: Crime fighting is
the mandate of the police and intelligence agencies. The FIC is not in that
list. It’s imposing itself on that list. That’s our fundamental problem. The
FIC just decides, you, you and you are a politically exposed person. From where
we see it as the BBC and the PPF — we’re unapologetically pro-ANC. When you
fund the ANC, you are implicated. Your wife, your friends. By the mere fact
that you are tainted by this thing you can’t move. We’ll be enslaved as a
result of this legislation. FATF says there must be a due diligence
25 Jan 16:03
Manyi: What do I mean
when I say this (Bill) could plunge SA in a crisis? Let’s don’t elevate FATF to
a higher status. It’s not a UN sanction body. Belonging to this organisation
is voluntary we can withdraw tomorrow. But this organisation is actually a
solid and sound one. They’ve asked all the member organisations to implement
the regulations within their own constitutions and laws. What this Bill is
about? Money laundering and terrorism.
25 Jan 16:02
Manyi to MPs: I have
decolonised. Jimmy is no longer used so please call me Mzwanele.
25 Jan 16:02
Carrim: We’ll be back in
the Constitutional Court if we don’t give attention to the problematic sections
in this Bill.
25 Jan 16:01
Manyi: Stop reducing an
organisation’s view to that of a person. The PPF is a professional organisation
with a people with stature. This proposal (about the FIC Bill) is a submission
from the PPF — not from me as Manyi. When we make a contribution it is a well
thought through one.
25 Jan 15:54
Carrim: It seems, Mr
Manyi that you’re saying whether this Bill gets approved with changes, or
without a single change this bill is going to the Constitutional Court.
25 Jan 15:52
Carrim: If you feel you
disagree with what the lawyers said in this meeting you raise it and it will be
dealt with on the 14th of March public hearings. The banks have certain rights
— they’re the private sector. You can’t expect us as Parliament to do something
about that. But I’m utterly convinced that we need to have a discussion about
these matters in any case.
25 Jan 15:49
Carrim, quoting from a
travel writer who said a significant number of African American people in the
south of US are still at the bottom end of the economy. There’s a racialised
nature of the society we live in. I’m saying to the banking sector — there’s an
impatience and restlessness and if you don’t deracialise it will be done for
25 Jan 15:46
Carrim: I’d like to make
some general points. We’ve got hearings on the financial sector as a whole and
transformation in the sector. We in the financial sector regulation bill. Where
a bank closes the account of a client it needs to give a reason. Cas
(Coovadia), it’s very reasonable. You have to tell people when you’re closing
their bank accounts, right?
25 Jan 15:43
Makhosi Khoza: There’s a
Russian poet who said: "In the absence of truth silence is a lie”. The EFF
policy direction is devastating to the economy of this country. And they don’t
understand the complexity of the international finance space. Be careful, South
25 Jan 15:38
Pule Mabe (ANC): We as
the ANC don’t need to be lectured on what we need to do in Parliament. There
should never be signs of impatience with civil society when they raise issues.
They ought to be listened to. They have a right. We understand what we’re
expected to do. The people of SA will take pride in this Parliament.
25 Jan 15:35
Carrim: If other issues
are raised (such as those by the BBC) we need to separate them and hear them
out on a public hearing in March, which will deal with transformation in the
25 Jan 15:32
Carrim: We said there
are two hearings taking place. One that is bound by the rules and then a second
hearing. We said on the Financial Sector Regulation Bill (FSRB) — we said we
want a public hearing on the transformation of the entire financial sector. Today
we’ll focus on what the rules say. Next time we’ll focus on all the other
issues, such as those raised by the BBC.
25 Jan 15:28
Floyd Shivambu: It looks
like even members of Parliament — members of this committee who have been
responsible for this Bill — it looks like the majority of this Bill act as it’s
the first time they hear about the provisions in this Bill. Even if you raise
legitimate concerns there are systems that we’ve agreed upon (as members of
25 Jan 15:26
Thandi Tobias (ANC): Can
we have someone to explain thoroughly the administrative powers of (FIC)
25 Jan 15:25
people raising issues here because of politicking.
25 Jan 15:24
Pule Mabe (ANC): Where
you come from determines what value I have. I come from Phlaborwa and the
houses there don’t have the same value as a house in Sandton. So how do we take
a process of this forward without excluding other views?
25 Jan 15:24
will even impact how SA looks when it goes to banks to borrow money.
25 Jan 15:23
put forward laws that accommodate everyone - not just one political party.
25 Jan 15:23
Pule Mabe (ANC): When
someone from BBC says their accounts are being closed, it requires special
attention. It’s important that we listen to everyone. Parliament has processes
and there’s a process that gives the possibility to renew laws. If there are
things that require a review stakeholders come back and we listen. We want to
put forward laws that accommodate everyone whether we’re ANC, EFF, or DA.
25 Jan 15:22
says their bank accounts have been closed, it is an important matter to
25 Jan 15:22
Pule Mabe (ANC): Only a
progressive government opens up to stakeholders. The ANC that I represent is
driving a rigorous transformation programme. All institutions need to operate
in a fair manner. Why do we want to create an environment where banks act as
players and referees and decide who is bankable and who not.
25 Jan 15:22
Makhosi Khoza: To the
PPF, what is your recommendation? What should we do as Parliament? The rules
are very clear. We cannot give attention to any other thing in the legislation.
You go to the highest authority. Yet you have a very legitimate story. How do
we work around this? The reality is — we’re Parliamentarians. So tell us, how
are we going to intervene? The majority of black people can be classified as
so-called PEPs — politically exposed persons.
25 Jan 15:20
member: Ultimately we are parliamentarians and have a set of rules to follow.
We have to find corruption.
25 Jan 15:16
Makhosi Khoza: Casac
said in their letters and responding affidavit the President attached the PPF
and BBC objections. What I want to know from you now, what is the legal status
of those letters?
25 Jan 15:16
Makhosi Khoza: I ask BBC
and PPF, why didn’t you participate in the process of parliament so that we
could have heard your objections at an appropriate time? Don’t you think you
are compromising the president by going straight to him? Right now you’ve heard
there’s very little what we can do. We shouldn’t be sharing collective
stupidity. We really have to start understanding there are parameters in which
we need to operate. You are making valuable contributions, but they are coming
to us so late.