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January 15, 2018

South African regulator extends independent investigation into KPMG

By Stephanie Wix

The South African regulator, the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA), has extended its investigation into the KPMG audits of Linkway Trading and the South African Revenue Service (SARS) Report.

IRBA confirmed that one line of investigation is near completion, and will be shared at the upcoming investigating committee meeting, while further lines are “progressing satisfactorily”. Yet, in both matters, some information requested from KPMG has not been received and IRBA is continuing engagement to obtain it.

IRBA launched the investigation in July 2017 into KPMG’s 2014 audit of Linkway Trading (Pty), a company owned by the Gupta family, who allegedly used government funds to pay for a wedding of a family member.

Also in 2014, KPMG South Africa had been appointed to conduct a forensic investigation into a SARS intelligence unit which investigated high profile tax offenders between 2010 and 2014. Yet, KPMG’s report findings and recommendations to fire senior SARS investigative executives were withdrawn for being legally flawed.  

IRBA reiterated that their investigation into KPMG is separate to the independent inquiry funded by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) led by advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza to examine employees not the company’s work. IRBA had previously cautioned SAICA over potential confusion over the nature, scope and findings of two different investigations.

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