KPMG SA announces new chair

File photo of Professor Wiseman Nkuhlu.
File photo of Professor Wiseman Nkuhlu.

Johannesburg - KPMG South Africa has announced that Professor Wiseman Nkuhlu will become its new board chair from March 1 this year.  

"Prof Nkuhlu has over 30 years' experience working at the highest level in both the public and private sectors. He has served as a board director and as part of the audit committee at a wide range of leading public listed companies," said KPMG SA in a media statement on Wednesday morning. 

Nkhulu was formerly the chair of New Partnership for Africa’s Development, the chair of the Development Bank of Southern Africa and the president of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants.

He is currently chancellor of the University of Pretoria. 

The auditing firm also announced that Ansie Ramalho would join the firm as an independent director. 

Nhlamu Dlomu, the CEO of KPMG SA, said Nkuhlu has "dedicated his life and his career to the role of the profession in supporting South Africa’s economic progress and transformation agenda".

"Prof Nkuhlu and Ramalho will add an external perspective and bring a huge amount of relevant experience, wisdom and challenge as we make the critical decisions required to rebuild the firm,” she said. 

KPMG has faced criticism, and lost a number of clients, for its previous business relationship with companies linked to the Gupta family. In mid-September it cleared out its South African executive leadership team. 

Its former CEO Trevor Hoole, chief operating officer Steven Louw, chairperson Ahmed Jaffer and five senior executives all resigned after an internal investigation into the firm's work with the Guptas. 

The auditing firm also withdrew the findings of its controversial South African Revenue Service "rogue unit" report. 

This report was used by the Hawks and the National Prosecuting Authority to launch an investigation into the unit, in which former finance minister Pravin Gordhan was implicated.

KPMG, however, has since said the report's conclusions were incorrect. 

“Given the failure to appropriately apply our own risk management and quality controls, that part of the report which refers to conclusions, recommendations and legal opinions should no longer be relied upon,” KPMG International said in a statement in September.  

The firm is also being investigated by the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors. 

In a statement Nkuhlu said he is "honoured to become KPMG South Africa’s chairman".

"This is a defining time for our country and I believe our profession has a unique and vital role to play.

"As the firm rebuilds, I am confident that the reforms the leadership team is driving will mean that KPMG once again plays a leading part in ensuring that our economy is well run. I am determined that we do this by always providing our clients with service to the highest professional standards.” 

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