ABIL’s ex-BEE partners in new battle against Deloitte

Lwazi Bam
Lwazi Bam

Johannesburg - The former empowerment partners of African Bank Investments Limited (ABIL) have engaged in a new battle with ABIL’s former auditor, Deloitte, by filing a complaint with the body that regulates local auditors.

Desmond Lockey, who is Hlumisa Investment Holdings’ chairperson and a shareholder of Eyomhlaba Investment Holdings, this week lodged a complaint with the Independent Regulatory Board of Auditors (IRBA).

The 13 000 Hlumisa and Eyomhlaba shareholders want to claim R2.1 billion from the former ABILl directors and Deloitte following ABIL’s failure.

Lockey alleged in an affidavit, on behalf of the former empowerment partners, that Deloitte had breached Auditing Professions Act provisions, paragraphs of IRBA’s code of conduct, as well as the code of conduct for registered auditors.

In his complaint – which City Press has a copy of – Lockey highlighted numerous paragraphs from the Myburgh Report into the affairs of ABIL and African Bank and alleged Deloitte was “uncomfortable, in many respects, with the conduct ... [but] kept their silence”.

Deloitte Africa CEO Lwazi Bam said: “Deloitte is aware that IRBA is investigating a complaint in relation to this issue. We have been and continue to cooperate with IRBA on this investigation.

“No adverse findings have been made by the Myburgh Commission about the way Deloitte fulfilled and complied with all its legal and professional obligations,” he said.

Bernard Agulhas, IRBA CEO, confirmed on Friday that his organisation had received Lockey’s complaint on Thursday.

IRBA was busy with its own investigation into African Bank and would incorporate Lockey’s complaint against Deloitte into that probe, he said. 

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