Saica's hearing against accountant Khaya Sithole to continue

The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (Saica) inquiry into chartered accountant, commentator and former Wits lecturer Khaya Sithole will resume on Wednesday.  

His hearing kicked off in June, after he was accused of acting without integrity and against the professional ethics of the accounting industry by irregularly adding 129 students to Saica's scholarship scheme, the Thuthuka Bursary Fund (TBF), between 2014 and 2016, while programme manager at the University of the Witwatersrand.  

This is the first inquiry by Saica that is open to the public, as the accountancy profession has increasingly attracted criticism for various scandals including KPMG, former Transnet and Eskom chief financial officer (CFO) Anoj Singh and disgraced Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste.

Saica has been accused of not holding errant CAs accountable, and disciplinary processes being too slow.  

In June, testimony was heard that Sithole awarded Wits accountancy students TBF bursaries while using a document with TBF’s project director Nthato Selebi’s forged signature, which cost Saica R10m that was not budgeted for. 

In a hard-hitting affidavit, however, Sithole accused a number of high-level officials, including Wits vice-chancellor Adam Habib, Saica CEO and TBF trustee, Terrence Nombembe, then National Student Financial Aid Scheme chairperson and Thuthuka chair Sizwe Nxasana, Saica executive director and Thuthuka custodian Chantyl Mulder, and Associate Professor head of School of Accountancy at Wits, Nirupa Padia of ordering him to add students to the bursary scheme without following due process. 

Sithole is yet to testify before the commission and is being represented by well-known legal personality Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi. 

Meanwhile, also in June, Saica announced a governance review of the organisation by former chairperson of the King Committee on Corporate Governance Professor Mervyn King.

The organisation hopes to appoint a new board and make amendments to its constitution by November 30.  

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