The Council of the University of the Witwatersrand has resolved not to renew contracts with KPMG for internal auditing and risk management services once the respective contracts lapse at the end of the 2017 financial year.
This decision was taken following a meeting with the current CEO of KPMG, international KPMG representatives and members of the University Council’s Audit and Council Risk committees.
This follows the damage done to the reputation of the auditing firm after it emerged that it served the interests of Gupta-owned Oakbay investments by embellishing financial audits and issuing a controversial report implicating former Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, in the creation of an illegal intelligence gathering unit within the South African Revenue Service.
“Members of the Council Audit and Council Risk committees deliberated long and hard on the presentations made by KPMG,” explained WITS media office.
“The committees acknowledged that KPMG did take some actions, including releasing the CEO, COO and a number of senior partners to mitigate the reputational damage that it suffered as a result of its relationship with Gupta associated companies and its complicity in the SARS report, but felt that KPMG had not gone far enough”, it added.
Simply put, the university has hit back at the lack of transparency shown by KPMG at the time, explaining that they simply cannot turn a blind eye to the reality of facts.
The SARS report, which served as an initial spark in the controversial persecution of Gordhan and his staff at the time, has since been retracted. However, many experts say this does little to repair the damage done by the former minister’s untimely axing.
Pricewaterhouse Cooper (PwC) will remain the university’s external auditors.