Deloitte right of reply

Deloitte this week rejected allegations published by City Press on Sunday, March 25, made by Hlumisa Investment chairperson Desmond Lockey.

Lwazi Bam, Deloitte Africa CEO, on Thursday this week wrote to City Press on behalf of Mgcinisihlalo Jordan, Deputy CEO for Deloitte Africa deputy CEO and partner, and Danie Crowther, a Deloitte partner, both of whom have been charged by the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) with misconduct.

Lockey said in comments published on Sunday, March 25, that “All that it [Deloitte] is doing now is playing for more time in a hope that the storm will go away”. In response Bam said there was no basis to suggest this.

“Deloitte has been most co-operative throughout with the Irba. Furthermore, the Irba does not allege or seek to contend that Deloitte is seeking to improperly delay the matter on any basis, leave aside on the basis suggested by Mr Lockey,” Bam said.

Lockey said that “This is a typical Jacob Zuma strategy”.

“The chair of the [IRBA] disciplinary committee upheld Deloitte’s request for the postponement of the June/July 2018 dates and the basis on which this was done provides no support for Mr Lockey’s unfounded comments,” Bam said.

Lockey said that “There is the Myburgh Commission, which deeply implicates them ... It has been found guilty by the Myburgh Commission.”

“The Myburgh Commission of Enquiry made no adverse findings against Deloitte and it is accordingly false and materially misleading to suggest that the Myburgh Commission deeply implicates them or that Deloitte has been found guilty by the Myburgh Commission,” Bam said.

Lockey said that “Deloitte is deeply implicated in the demise of this company [African Bank]. It produced fraudulent auditing reports.”

“This statement is factually incorrect and highly defamatory. Neither the IRBA in the charge sheet nor the BEE shareholders in their particulars of claim contend that Deloitte produced fraudulent auditing reports,” Bam said.

Lockey said that: “A fine of R2 million is peanuts. Deloitte should be banned from operating in South Africa – that is the only thing that would work for me.”

“The comments by Mr Lockey ... are sensationalist, reckless and inappropriately seek to influence the disciplinary proceedings in which Deloitte are involved, and which Deloitte are defending,” Bam said. “These comments are inflammatory, factually inaccurate, reckless and highly defamatory”.

* City Press regrets not having given Deloitte the opportunity to react to these comments at the time of publication. Also, in the original story City Press referred to Deloitte’s senior counsel as Matthew van der Nest SC. He is in fact Mike van der Nest. We apologise for the error.

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