Private school group's external auditors resign with immediate effect

The external auditors of the Pembury Lifestyle Group have resigned with immediate effect, the group, which owns schools and retirement villages in Gauteng, Limpopo and Northwest, announced in a notice to shareholders on Thursday.

Fin24 recently reported that Pembury asked its CEO Andrew Robert McLachlan to temporarily step aside because it had been alerted to governance concerns it intended to investigate. It did not elaborate on what these concerns were. Pembury's group financial director Willem Marais had resigned with immediate effect in January.

According to the latest statement, Nexia SAB&T's reasons for resigning relate to the resignation of key finance staff and the recent concerns raised around compliance and corporate governance practices which has increased their risk of continuing as external auditors of Pembury and its subsidiaries.

The board of Pembury is trying to address various concerns "in a constructive manner" and has recently engaged with the JSE in this regard, according to the statement.

The process to appoint new auditors will now take place.

Fin24 reported earlier that Pembury had previously faced allegations that some of its schools were not registered with the Gauteng department of basic education. In response, the group issued a statement, saying that the schools that weren't registered had submitted their applications, some as far back as in 2018.

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