Guptas, others allegedly lobbying Zuma on Fica bill | Fin24
 
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Guptas, others allegedly lobbying Zuma on Fica bill

Jul 10 2016 19:30

Johannesburg - The Guptas, as well as other "prominent persons", are allegedly trying to lobby President Jacob Zuma not to sign proposed amendments to the Financial Intelligence Centre Act, reports the Sunday Times.

This is despite the proposed amendments - which require that banks give special scrutiny to politically influential individuals - having been passed by Parliament in May. It would enable politicians, judges and business people to be questioned regarding the source of their money before they enter into agreements with financial institutions. The Fica bill's aim is to enhance SA’s ability to combat financial crimes.

The Sunday newspaper reports it was told by "sources in the government" that prominent people - allegedly including the Guptas - have been trying to convince Zuma not to sign. According to Presidency spokesperson Bonagni Ngqulunga, Zuma is "still considering the bill".

READ: Guptas' staff appeal to banks to save their Oakbay jobs

Yunus Carrim, chair of the National Assembly's standing committee on finance, however, told the Sunday Times he was unaware of any lobbying and that all MPs in the committee had voted in favour of the bill.

He added that the bill would also help to prevent the private sector abusing politicians.

In May Fin24 reported that the Gupta family took centre stage in Parliament during a debate on the bill to combat money laundering and "financial terrorism".

At the time UDM MP Nqabayomzi Kwankwa said Parliament could not talk about money laundering and turn a blind eye to allegations around Gupta family business dealings, while ANC MP Thandi Tobias said she did not understand what the sudden obsession with the Guptas was.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said during a debate about the bill that it was about ensuring SA was compliant with international requirements and standards. Similar bills are, for instance, being proposed in other countries, including the in the US, Australia and the UK.

ALSO READ: Guptas in spotlight in debate on money-laundering bill

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