Pravin Gordhan and Mcebisi Jonas warned auditing group KPMG on Thursday night to take “further steps” and to be “more open and frank with South Africans”, after meeting KPMG International chairman John Veihmeyer and new KPMG SA CEO Nhlamu Dlomu.
In a statement released on Thursday evening after the meeting, Gordhan and Jonas said KPMG’s transparency “will determine whether KPMG can earn the respect and confidence of both corporates and the audit profession on the one hand, and the South African public on the other”.
According to the statement, Veihmeyer asked for the meeting.
The meeting followed KPMG International’s releasing of a 10-page statement last week following its investigation into the South African division’s alleged involvement in hiding corruption and money laundering at various Gupta-owned companies. KPMG International did not find any criminal or corrupt activities, but stated that the audits did not adhere to the group’s international standards.
The KPMG International statement also withdrew the findings of its controversial Sars report which found that Gordhan was aware, or should have been aware, of a so-called rogue investigation unit within Sars.
Gordhan was quick to react to this retraction and threatened to take legal action against KPMG.
In their statement Gordhan and Jonas said they “shared our strong feelings and disapproval of the manner in which KPMG SA has been involved in the validation of state capture and corruption in respect of both the South African Revenue Service (Sars) and companies of the Gupta family”.
They added that “KPMG has a moral duty to account for their conduct to the South African public and they have to be frank and transparent in their disclosures if they wish to restore their reputation.”
According to the statement, the duo also “insisted on full and proper disclosure of the role of various parties in the state capture project and the manner in which KPMG staff seem to have colluded in these processes – including the complete disregard shown by the management of KPMG.”
Gordhan and Jonas said the KPMG delegation asked them to “recognise their commitment to SA”, but did not elaborate further.
KPMG could not be reached for comment prior to publication.
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