Four former South African Revenue Services (SARS) officials met with the leadership of KPMG South Africa and KPMG International on Tuesday, and called for full and frank disclosure on the auditing firm’s past conduct
Ivan Pillay, Peter Richer, Yolisa Pikie and Adrian Lackay sent out a joint statement saying they met with the leadership of the auditing firm after it requested a meeting with the group. The KPMG SA delegation was lead by newly appointed CEO Nhlamu Dlomu.
“The meeting was without prejudice and we reserve our legal rights as parties who were adversely affected by the work of KMPG on behalf of its client, the South African Revenue Service (SARS). Today’s was a preliminary, first meeting. We appreciate the efforts by KPMG to finally afford those affected by the ‘forensic’ investigative report to SARS, the opportunity to be heard,” the group said in a joint statement.
“At the same time, we remain convinced that KPMG’s conduct has caused immense harm to a number of experienced individuals, their reputations and careers as public servants, and it damaged institutions like SARS. We believe KPMG should make full and frank disclosure about their past conduct and institute credible initiatives to make right the harm that was caused to numerous individuals, to public institutions, to our country and the economy.”
Two weeks ago, KPMG announced that it intended to withdraw its report on a probe into the existence of a “rogue spy unit” within SARS, while it said work done for the controversial Gupta family “fell considerably short of KPMG’s standards”
KPMG South Africa appointed Dlomu as its new Chief Executive Officer following the resignation of the top leadership of the company, including Chief Executive Officer Trevor Hoole, Chairman Ahmed Jaffer, Chief Operating Officer Steven Louw and five other senior partners, while it said it was pursuing disciplinary action seeking the dismissal of Jacques Wessels, the lead partner on the audits of the non-listed Gupta entities.
On Tuesday, Pillay, Richer, Pikie and Lackay said that the “findings” of the KPMG report to SARS was the basis for the aborted criminal prosecution of former Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan and Pillay, the former Deputy Commissioner of SARS and others in October 2016.
“The decision by the National Director of Public Prosecutions to issue summons against these individuals, and against Mr Gordhan in particular, days before the October 2016 Medium Term Budget Policy Statement, caused intractable economic harm and uncertainty. To date the allegations of that ‘a covert and rogue intelligence unit’ was established by SARS ‘in contravention of the rule of law’ have been substantially disavowed,” the group said.
“As this aspect was the central focus of the ‘forensic report’ to SARS, we trust that this report will in future be withdrawn in full. As our rights are reserved, including the right to seek legal recourse, we will not make further public statements on this matter at this time.”