The Ntsebeza Inquiry, which was tasked by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) with examining the conduct of current and former members of SAICA employed by KPMG, is due to be completed by the end of June 2018.
The inquiry is entering the final stage of its work, according to chair of the inquiry Dumisa Ntsebeza, who said that the Inquiry Panel will soon start to write its report. The report, which was originally due at the end of April, was delayed due to requests by various parties for extensions to the submission period, legal arguments as well as the availability of relevant parties.
Ntsebeza commented: “We are sensitive to the fact that the auditing profession is under immense pressure and that many of KPMG’s clients are awaiting our report. Indeed, the world is watching.”
Ntsebeza indicated that the Panel did not receive complete cooperation from all parties it had engaged: “Although we had great cooperation from many, in some instances we were disappointed by the lack of understanding of our role.”
The Inquiry was tasked with finding the facts and determining whether there is prima facie evidence that point to a need for SAICA’s disciplinary processes to kick in. Ntsebeza added: “It is not within the ambit of our mandate to determine guilt or not. That’s for SAICA to decide, and in the case of registered auditors, it would be in the hands of IRBA,”
After seven consecutive years of sitting in the World Economic Forum’s top spot for its auditing and reporting standards, South Africa tumbled to 30th in 2017.
In a media statement issued by the Ntsebeza inquiry, it was noted ‘chartered accountants throughout South Africa are naturally anxious to see those who have damaged their profession’s reputation be held accountable after appropriate due disciplinary process’.