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By Alec Hogg
Fresh powers embedded in SA’s new Financial Services Regulation Act played a big part in cracking the VBS conspiracy. Particularly Section 140, where the offer of criminal indemnity proved a juicy incentive for many lying witnesses to suddenly switch to the truth.
Gerhard van Deventer, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority’s Head of Enforcement, tells me there are two other sharp arrows in the new FSR Act. Section 156 gives investigators the ability to offer leniency to implicated witnesses in return for help in nailing their former partners in crime.
And there’s also Section 151 which enables the authorities to strike enforceable settlements with organisations that have broken the law. This will ensure, for instance, that a lengthy court process is not required before ensuring refunds are made to over-charged clients. Van Deventer is excited about the potential of these two as yet unused new powers.
With miscreants losing political influence and powerful crime fighting weapons being handed to those applying society’s rules, the tide is changing in favour of SA’s good guys. And given recent experiences, they sure need it.