Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has distanced the ANC from remarks by Progressive Professionals Forum president Jimmy Manyi that the Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment (Fica) bill will bankrupt the ruling party.
The Fica bill, or money laundering bill, was unanimously adopted by the National Assembly on Tuesday, after initially being referred back to parliament by President Jacob Zuma.
This did not stop opposition MPs from quizzing Ramaphosa yesterday about the submission made by Manyi.
During public hearings on the bill earlier this year, Manyi described the legislation as an attempt to bankrupt the ANC before the next national elections in 2019.
Manyi, a former cabinet spokesman, said the bill would be used by detractors, who he did not name, to embarrass and blacklist ANC donors “so that when we get to 2019 the ANC is as broke as hell”.
“We are also going to be embarrassed because of this dangerous piece of legislation,” Manyi said.
Ramaphosa said that as leader of government business, he had never received a submission from Manyi.
“The answer is no, I did not receive such a submission. But I want to use the opportunity to commend all for the unanimous adoption of the bill,” he said.
“I don’t know what he [Manyi] is talking about. Clearly he’s not talking about the ANC that I lead and I know.
“The legislation that we voted on will significantly strengthen our ability to track money laundering and money used to fund terrorism.”
EFF chief whip Floyd Shivambu said Manyi told the public hearings that the ANC was going to be broke as a result of the legislation.
“The question we asked is, that during submissions, a member of the public came to say that if this bill passed and [was] signed into law, the ANC is going to be broke, basically intimating that the ANC benefits from the lack of legislation that seeks to combat money laundering and financing of terrorist activities,” Shivambu said.
“No member of the ANC in that committee objected to that [Manyi’s comment]. He identified himself as a professional who represents the ANC.
“His name is Jimmy Manyi. He argued strongly that the ANC is going to be broke if this bill is passed.”
Ramaphosa said the ANC did not rely on laundered money.
“The ANC does not rely on money filtered into the country by money laundering or financing of terrorist activities. We abhor money laundering,” he said.