KPMG CEO, COO and executives step down over Gupta, SARS debacle

KPMG executives axed over Gupta scandal

KPMG South Africa senior leaders resign over Gupta scandal

Nine senior executives from the auditing firm KPMG have been forced to resign in a fall-out over the company's involvement with the controversial Gupta family.

The Guptas have been accused in the past of wielding influence in South African politics under President Jacob Zuma's administration. But it "did find work that fell considerably short of KPMG's standards".

"Despite the deficiencies in the audit work, KPMG International found no evidence of dishonesty or unethical behaviour on the part of the audit partners and audit teams working on the audits for the Gupta group of companies".

KPMG South Africa said that it would donate the 40m rand (£2.2m) it earned from its work with Gupta businesses to charity and refund 23m rand (£1.29m) it earned from the SARS report.

KPMG South Africa is also pursing disciplinary action and seeking the dismissal of Jacques Wessels‚ the lead partner on the audits of the non-listed Gupta entities.

KPMG SA only cut ties with companies controlled by the family in 2016.

KPMG was also criticised for having four of its partners attend the lavish Gupta wedding at Sun City in 2013 while it was auditing a Gupta-owned Linkway Trading, which was implicated in siphoning millions of rand from a Free State dairy farm project to fund the wedding. "However, the investigation established that management of many Gupta entities responded misleadingly and inadequately to audit teams' enquiries about the nature of related party relationships and the commercial substance of significant unusual transactions", read the statement.

In December 2014, KPMG SA was commissioned by the Sars to perform an extensive document investigative review which resulted in the "Report on Allegations of Irregularities and Misconduct".

Bell Pottinger's "economic emancipation" campaign used traditional and social media, including a fake blog and Twitter account, to target wealthy white South African individuals and corporations.

In particular, it acknowledged "flaws" in a report that it compiled for South Africa's tax service, which implied that former finance minister Pravin Gordhan had helped set up a "rogue spy unit" when he was head of the service.

"I want to apologise to the public, our people and clients for the failings that have been identified by the investigation", Dlomu said.

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