KPMG announces independent investigation into work for Guptas and SARS

John Veihmeyer, global chairperson & CEO of KPMG. (File photo: Scott Halleran, AFP)
John Veihmeyer, global chairperson & CEO of KPMG. (File photo: Scott Halleran, AFP)

Cape Town - KPMG International on Friday evening announced a new independent investigation into KPMG SA’s work for the Gupta family and its role in authoring the controversial SARS ‘rogue unit’ report.

The global auditing firm’s chairperson John Veihmeyer, who earlier this week “sincerely apologised for what went wrong in KPMG SA” said the investigation would be led by a senior SA legal figure who was “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,” he said.  

“Our preference is for the investigation to be completed as quickly as possible.”

The announcement of the new probe, which is separate from an internal investigation carried out by KPMG International, comes the day after Veihmeyer met with former finance minister Pravin Gordhan and former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas.

Veihmeyer said the investigation would determine if there was any evidence to suggest KPMG SA partners or staff were involved in illegal activities by the Gupta family and their businesses.

It will also probe whether there were “any failings or collusion in the work performed and conduct of KPMG SA in relation to theSARS report”.

After meeting with Veihmeyer and new KPMG CEO Nhlamu Dlomuon Thursday, Gordhan and Jonas said in a joint statement that KPMG had a “moral duty to account for their conduct to the South African public”.  

“They have to be frank, unequivocal and transparent in their disclosures if they wish to restore their own reputation.

"We insisted on full and proper disclosure of the role of various parties in 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.”

Full support

Bill Thomas, chairperson elect of KPMG International, meanwhile, said the firm’s international leadership would continue to give its full support to the KPMG SA.

“KPMG SA is an important part of our global network and we will provide all our support, in whatever form is needed, to ensure the stability and future success of the South African firm,” he said. 

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