The Independent Inquiry has been convened by the South African Institute for Chartered Accountants (SAICA) after receipt of allegations that some of its members employed by KPMG have allegedly engaged in conduct which is in contravention of the SAICA Code of Professional Conduct.
This inquiry will be conducted by an Independent Panel comprising Senior Members of the Legal and Accountancy Professions, to be chaired by Advocate Dumisa Buhle Ntsebeza SC.
Advocate Ntsebeza SC has been selected to chair this Independent Inquiry for a number of reasons. He is one of the country’s leading senior advocates, and deservedly earns the recognition of being one of the country’s top Silks. Moreover, between 1995 and 2010, he sat as an Acting Judge in various divisions of the High Court of South Africa on a number of occasions, a position he was appointed to by various Ministers of Justice. He has also sat as an Acting Judge in the Labour Court of South Africa. Whilst sitting as a judge in those Courts, he has churned out several published judgments some of which have received wide-ranging reviews by academics in reputable journals like the South African Law Journal.
Between 1995 and 1998, after being appointed by President Mandela as one of 17 Commissioners to serve in the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission [TRC], he was elected by his fellow Commissioners to be the Head of the TRC’s Investigative Unit—a unit that, in a short space of time, uncovered a lot of the atrocities that took place during a very painful chapter of our country’s history.
A little known fact about Adv. Ntsebeza SC is that he was appointed in October 2004 by the then UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, to be one of five Commissioners, who, pursuant to UN Resolution 1564 of September 2004, were mandated to go to Darfur and investigate reports of violations of international human rights and humanitarian law in Darfur, Sudan, whether a genocide had been committed in Darfur, and whether anyone was to blame for any such violations, and what remedial measures the Commission recommended ought to be taken.
Their Commission report was accepted by the UN Security Council, which then referred it to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
For these and other attributes, SAICA has considered Adv. Ntsebeza SC to be eminently qualified to lead this forensic probe in our country at this time. SAICA believes Adv. Ntsebeza SC will lead the probe without fear, favour or prejudice.
Adv. Ntsebeza SC has appointed the following panel members to assist him in his task:
- Adv. Vuyani Ngalwana SC – a member of the Johannesburg Bar, Chairperson of the General Council of the Bar of South Africa and the country’s second Pension Funds Adjudicator.
- Dr. Claudelle Von Eck – CEO of the Institute of Internal Auditors; Member of the Executive Committee of the Public Sector Auditing Committee Forum; Chair of the Unisa College of Accounting Sciences Advisory Board.
- Freeman Nomvalo – Former Accountant-General at National Treasury and co-author of the Auditing Profession Act, 26 of 2005.
- Malcolm Robert “Bobby” Johnston – Former Chair of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
MMMG Attorneys Inc are the secretariat to the Inquiry, and instructing attorneys to the two Senior Advocates.
The Inquiry shall run over the following phases:
- Phase 1: Call for Written Submissions and receipt of Written Submissions – 2 November 2017 to 30 November 2017
- Phase 2: Review of Submissions by Members – 1 December 2017 to 15 December 2017 & 2 January 2018 to 19 January 2018
- Phase 3: Hearing of testimony – 22 January 2018 to 28 February 2018; and
- Phase 4: Review of testimony and recommendations by Inquiry – 1 March 2018 to 30 April 2018.
The Terms of Reference (“ToR”) and Regulations for the inquiry can be downloaded HERE.
Scope and purpose
The Independent Inquiry is required to complete its work within five (5) months from 2 November 2017 and, in terms of SAICA’s Constitution and the Auditing Profession Act, SAICA will seek to explore to what extent those instruments provide an opportunity for SAICA to liaise and cooperate with IRBA, with respect to the findings and recommendations of this Inquiry.
This Inquiry does not aim to usurp the statutory functions of the IRBA. It seeks to inquire into the conduct of the members of SAICA, an independent professional body, as it is entitled to do by section 48(6) of the Auditing Profession Act.
This important purpose of the Inquiry has been conveyed to the IRBA and IRBA seems to understand it.
The calls for submissions are scheduled to commence on 2 November 2017 and shall close on 30 November 2017. Prior to the commencement of hearing of evidence, the panel shall review and consider the written submissions, statements and/or evidence pertaining to the members herein.
Any person who wishes to make a submission or to give evidence at the hearing may submit their representations by hand to MMMG Attorneys Inc at 345 Rivonia Boulevard, First Floor South, Rivonia between 08:00 and 16:30. The representations must be accompanied by relevant supporting information, including any relevant documents.
An online submission portal will be announced in due course. Any announcements regarding the inquiry that may be effected will be posted on the website of the inquiry.