KPMG: Audit firms protect criminal activities of huge corporations – EFF

Fighters write to SAICA to ask them to remove company's partners as Chartered Accountants

EFF statement on KPMG SA conduct and contracts with Gupta-linked entities

17 September 2017

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) notes disturbing reports about KPMG in South Africa and their potential involvement in financial crimes with Gupta linked companies. KMPG said, in their own admission, that their ‘work that fell considerably short of their own standards’. 

For KPMG to claim that their work fell considerably short of their own standards is a travesty and misleading. KPMG, as auditors, have been at the centre aiding the Gupta family and their associate's companies in their syndicate to loo state resources for private enrichment, and made millions if not billions in the process. 

The EFF has written to the South African Institute of Charted Accountants (SAICA) and the Independent Regulator Board of Auditors (IRBA) to report the following KPMG partners to be removed as Chartered Accountants: 

a)   Mr Trevor Hoole, CA(SA)

b)   Mr Michael Oddy, CA(SA)

c)   Mr John Geel, CA(SA)

d)   Mr Mickey Bove, CA(SA) 

South Africa continues to lose billions in corruption and illicit financial flows, funds that are much needed to deliver services to the poor. For financial integrity, government and society depend on charted accountants to safeguard state resources and ensure that tax payers receive value for money and services are delivered through controls, checks and balances envisaged in accounting and auditing profession. 

When the EFF made the submissions to Parliament, SARS and the Davis Tax Committee, we made a specific recommendation that there should be closer scrutiny and investigation of the audit firms, because they are co-conspirators and partners in the massive financial crimes defining South Africa. 

The KPMG scandals reveal the fact that the EFF was correct that audit firms serve to protect massive criminal activities committed by huge corporations.

If companies like KPMG and their accountants who are wilfully and knowingly partaking in syndicates to loot state resources, it will lead to the further crisis of confidence in financial reporting systems, making it impossible to deal decisively with illicit financial flows.  

The EFF will do everything in its power to make sure that those involved are stripped of their titles as Chartered Accountants to protect the integrity of the profession and send a strong message to other that professional misconduct will be met with harsh consequences. Finally, the criminal justice system should consider whether the activities of KPMG and the mentioned so-called accountant do not violate South African laws and if they do, necessary action should be taken with immediate effect.

Issued by Mbuyiseni Quintin Ndlozi, National Spokesperson, EFF, 17 September 2017