The South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) has called on government and business to blacklist KPMG for unethical behaviour.
The call follows the resignation of a number of the international audit firm’s senior South African executives and withdrawal of its findings on the South African Revenue Servce(SARS) report into the so-called rogue unit.
Sanco spokesperson Jabu Mahlangu said in a statement: “Sasfin’s decision to terminate its audit tender with the audit firm has demonstrated its commitment to good corporate governance and upholding the fundamentals of independent audits which characterise how South African institutions and the companies are held accountable to shareholders and investors.”
Mahlangu urged the Minister of Finance Malusi Gigaba to issue a directive to all state-owned entities to also terminate any relationship that they have with KPMG.
“The Financial Services Board and the Auditor General’s office must likewise take drastic steps which communicates zero-tolerance to political power play by audit firms as they compromise not only their independence but also the credibility of audit standards and outcomes in general,” he stressed.
He said that harsh action must also be taken against companies that benefited from the misrepresentations by KMPG.
Beneficiaries of KPMG’s treacherous acts that undermined our economy leading to unwarranted credit downgrades that are hurting our economy and causing untold misery to the poor must not escape the wrath of the law,” he added.
Last week KPMG announced that it had withdrawn its report on the work the audit firm did for SARS.
On Friday, KPMG South Africa appointed Nhlamu Dlomu as its new chief executive. Dlomu said that she was committed to restore the embattled audit firm’s fundamental values of ethics and integrity in a bid to salvage the firm’s credibility as she takes over the helm at a time of deepening crisis.
This came as Trevor Hoole tendered his resignation on Friday as the chief executive KPMG SA, with chief operating officer and country risk management partner Steven Louw also stepping down. Five other senior partners of KPMG SA also decided to leave the firm.
KPMG SA would also be taking disciplinary action seeking the dismissal of Jacques Wessels, the lead partner on the audits of the non-listed Gupta entities.
KPMG received criticism regarding the “SARS Report” in which it was commissioned by the Sars to investigate allegations of a rogue unit allegedly set up by Pravin Gordhan, who was SARS commissioner at the time.