John Veihmeyer, Chairman, and Bill Thomas, Chairman Elect of KPMG International, today announced an independent investigation into work performed by KPMG South Africa in respect of the Gupta family and the SARS report.
John Veihmeyer said:
“Given the significance of the issues involved in this matter to the country of South Africa, and the damage our actions have caused, the public deserves to know the full facts as quickly as possible. That includes not just what, but why they occurred. That is why there will be an independent investigation to provide the full and frank disclosure the South African public deserves.
“As a first step, we announced a set of significant actions last week. But we recognise that we need to do much more to restore trust with South Africa.
“The investigation will be led by a senior South African legal figure, who is completely independent of both KPMG South Africa and KPMG International. We are in active discussions to identify a credible, senior, independent legal figure to lead the investigation. The leader of the investigation, along with the scope, terms of reference and proposed timeline will be announced very shortly. Our preference is for the investigation to be completed as quickly as possible.
“The investigation will determine if there is any evidence to suggest KPMG South Africa partners or staff were complicit in illegal activities by the Gupta family and their businesses, and whether there were any failings or collusion in the work performed and conduct of KPMG South Africa in relation to the SARS report.”
“In addition, we have received other valuable input as to actions we need to take to regain public trust, and we will actively seek to address them.”
Bill Thomas said:
“KPMG International’s work in South Africa is not finished. We will continue to give our full support to the South African firm. KPMG South Africa is an important part of our global network and we will provide all our support, in whatever form is needed, to ensure the stability and future success of the South African firm.
“We now have a very strong team of senior, experienced, leaders from KPMG International in South Africa, including an interim Chief Operating Officer and Chief Risk Management Partner for KPMG South Africa. They are working closely with Nhlamu Dlomu, the new KPMG South Africa CEO, and her team. Their work includes a review of the entire KPMG South Africa client portfolio to ensure the firm is doing business with the right people.
John and Bill concluded:
“KPMG International’s support will continue for as long as is needed to restore trust, rebuild confidence and ensure that KPMG can once again earn the respect and trust of South Africans.”