Economy

KPMG South Africa finds no evidence that errors are 'systemic'

KPMG South Africa finds no evidence that errors are 'systemic'”

The errors are not "systemic", KPMG South Africa chief executive officer Nhlamu Dlomu told parliament's Standing Committee on Public Accounts in Cape Town on Thursday.

KMPG sacked a number of South African executives last month after it found work undertaken for firms owned by the Gupta family - a trio of Indian-born businessmen with close ties to Zuma - "fell considerably short" of its standards. KPMG's probe didn't find evidence of illegal behavior or corruption.

The accounting firm is seeking a meeting with the revenue authority to discuss the report, Mr Dlomu said.

Apart from the independent investigation, the firm is being probed by the country's regulatory body for auditors and the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants.

The committee heard that no action has yet been taken against any of the executives or officials that have been implicated in the work done for the Guptas, nor the SARS report - this, despite eight top officials resigning from the company following an internal investigation.

Munich Re of Africa, Sasfin Holdings, Sygnia Asset Management and Hulisani are among companies that have stopped using the accountancy firm's services.

"The change in audit firm, which is effective immediately, was initiated by the company following the concerns recently raised regarding KPMG", Interwaste said in a statement. The Guptas have denied wrongdoing.

KPMG offices in Parktown.

The country's central bank is waiting for the outcome of the independent investigations into KPMG's conduct before making final decisions, while Barclays Africa Group Ltd. and Old Mutual Plc are also reconsidering their relationships with KPMG.

KPMG SA interim chairperson of the auditor's policy board Gary Pickering said some of the executives who were implicated in the Gupta-owned Linkway Trading saga had unashamedly walked away from their roles smiling to the bank.

The briefing provided clear evidence of poor oversight that exists over audit firms in South Africa. "While we acknowledge the actions already taken and the commitment by the new KPMG management team to reforming its South African business, we do not believe these steps are yet sufficient".

"It also revealed an astonishing degree of dishonesty, inefficiency, lack of professional integrity and lack of independence on the part of some of the auditors involved with these companies", Makwetu read from the report. Pressed on this, the officials said they could not provide details of any criminal complaints filed.



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