Parliament moves on illicit cash flows out of SA
Publish date: 07 August 2017
Issue Number: 737
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
The persistent lack of action by South Africa's investigating and prosecuting authorities against those illegally taking money abroad has prompted a call for the formation of an inter-ministerial committee under the leadership of Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba to tackle the issue, says a BusinessLIVE report. The National Prosecuting Authority has failed to prosecute a R120m tax and customs fraud case linked to the politically connected Gupta family 12 years ago. South African Reserve Bank deputy governor Kuben Naidoo said the Bank had handed over 41 cases of exchange control contraventions to the police for further investigation and prosecution over the past five to six years, but there had been only one significant prosecution. Parliament’s Finance Committee has now resolved that an inter-ministerial committee be established to drive the process of dealing with those guilty of illicit financial flows. Committee chair Yunus Carrim said it was ‘extremely worrying’ – given the gravity of the crisis – that the government had not proposed such a structure but that it had been left to Parliament. All political party representatives on the committee agreed that not enough was being done by the authorities to curb the ‘obscene’ amounts of money leaving the country illegally. ‘We are reaching the end of our tether in this matter. We want drastic action. We want to see some of the names in the public domain to appear in court. We are really fed up, to put it mildly,’ Carrim said, promising that the committee would be pursuing the matter ‘vigorously’. The report adds the committee is planning a meeting on 29 August to assess progress.