Tongaat Hulett slapped with R20 million fine for accounting irregularities

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Sugar producer Tongaat has been fined twice this year.
Sugar producer Tongaat has been fined twice this year.

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) has imposed a R20 million administrative penalty on Tongaat Hulett after its probe into the sugar producer found “significant” accounting irregularities.

The sugar manufacturer found itself in the crosshairs of the financial regulator after it restated its 2017 and 2018 results.

The FSCA found that the irregularities stretched over a period of six years before they were discovered.

The watchdog initially proposed a sanction of R118 million. This was later reduced to R20 million because of cooperation from Tongaat as it sought to avoid further penalising "innocent" shareholders.

The FSCA’s fine comes after the JSE imposed a R7.5 million fine on Tongaat last month, also relating to the accounting irregularities.

An investigation by PWC, meanwhile, found “undesirable accounting practices” at Tongaat and has since led to the group taking civil action against some of its former directors and former CEO Peter Staude.

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