PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma has been accused of breaking his oath of office by not signing the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) Amendment Bill, with former finance minister Trevor Manuel saying that once Parliament has passed legislation, the president is required to assent to it unless there is a constitutional issue.
Parliament passed the FIC Amendment Bill in May, but it is now waiting for Zuma’s signature. The bill requires banks to perform enhanced due diligence on the "politically exposed", in line with international obligations.
But it has aroused ire in some ANC quarters and the Presidency said earlier in August that
However, Manuel questioned how an individual such as Manyi could "trump the votes" of more than 400 people in Parliament, and said the failure to sign the bill into law spoke to the "unravelling of SA’s democracy".
Manyi on Sunday said he had asked Zuma to refer the amendment bill to the Constitutional Court. "I have no problem with what this bill seeks to do; the only problem I have is the how," he said.
Manyi described Manuel’s comments as "nonsense", saying that when there was an objection the president was "forced" to take it into account. "This is why it’s not for the first time that a thing which has been sent to the president is returned to Parliament."
Asked whether he had received feedback from the president on his formal objection, Manyi said the fact that Zuma had not signed the bill was feedback enough.
Presidency spokesman Bongani Ngqulunga said Zuma was considering the petition by the PPF. The Presidency would not comment on Manuel’s statement.