Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni
Premium Journalist
2 minute read
26 Sep 2017
5:20 am

Professional body wants KPMG probe

Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni

The auditing firm announced last week it would launch an independent probe into its conduct.

Pedestrians walk past the KPMG Offices on Empire Road in Johannesburg on 15 September 2017. Picture: Yeshiel Panchia

The Progressive Professionals’ Forum (PPF) has called for an independent inquiry to look into KPMG’s work with government and state-owned companies (SOCs) since 1994.

The auditing firm announced last week it would launch an independent probe into its conduct in relation to the South African Revenue Service (Sars).

The PPF welcomed a call by Minister of Finance Malusi Gigaba for all government departments to review their work with KPMG.

“Government and SOCs should also cease all work with KPMG until the completion of the inquiry.

All state and associated work by the big four auditing firms must be assessed and analysed with vigilance, as KPMG has shown that these firms are susceptible to error and poor work standards,” the PPF said.

Scrambling to do damage control, KPMG on Friday announced it would be launching an independent probe into work done for the Gupta family.

It began bleeding key clients following its announcement that it was withdrawing its report on an alleged rogue unit at Sars.

The investigation would determine whether there was any evidence to suggest KPMG SA partners or staff were complicit in illegal activities by the Gupta family and their businesses, and whether there were any failings in the work KPMG performed.

“Given the significance of the issues involved in this matter to the country of South Africa, and the damage our actions have caused, the public deserves to know the full facts as quickly as possible.

That includes not just what occurred, but why. That is why there will be an independent investigation to provide the full and frank disclosure the South African public deserves,” chairperson John Veihmeyer said.

“The investigation will be led by a senior South African legal figure, who is completely independent of both KPMG South Africa and KPMG International.

“We are in active discussions to identify a credible, senior, independent legal figure to lead the investigation. The leader of the investigation, along with the scope, terms of reference and proposed timeline will be announced very shortly. Our preference is for the investigation to be completed as quickly as possible.”

National Treasury has joined high-level calls for government entities to review their relationship with KPMG.

“We have received other valuable input as to actions we need to take to regain public trust, and we will actively seek to address them,” said Veihmeyer. – simnikiweh@citizen.co.za