In another victory for SA’s institutions of democracy, accountability and governance, the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) Amendment Act was signed into effect by Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba on Tuesday. The act puts in place measures, in line with international commitments, to monitor and protect the financial system from illicit money flows, such as money laundering and the financing of terrorism. The amendment introduces into SA the concept of "prominent influential persons" (Pips), who must undergo "enhanced due diligence" when becoming a client of a bank or any other institution where large amounts of money change hands, such as when buying property. The signing came after a lengthy delay in which President Jacob Zuma returned the bill to Parliament several months after it had been passed. This was followed by a fierce lobbying campaign by politically connected individuals — sympathetic and aligned to the president — who tried to derail the bill on the grounds that it was ...

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