KPMG will pay back Gupta money to civil society

A recycler drags his trolley past the KPMG offices on Empire Road in Johannesburg on 15 September 2017. Picture: Yeshiel Panchia

A recycler drags his trolley past the KPMG offices on Empire Road in Johannesburg on 15 September 2017. Picture: Yeshiel Panchia

The company’s executive chairperson called the move ‘an important step in ensuring redress for the actions of the past’.

Following findings that auditing firm KPMG South Africa did not act ethically in its work for companies owned by the controversial Gupta family as well as for the national revenue service (Sars), the company has announced it will be paying the R47 million it earned doing this work back to civil society organisations, Fin24 has reported.

The company committed to paying the consulting fees for the Gupta and Sars jobs back in September.

According to a statement issued by the firm, half the money will be paid to the Democracy Works Foundation, the Social Justice Initiative, and the National Business Initiative.

The other half will go to non-profit organisations working in the education sector following a consultation process that narrowed over 1000 applicants down to 52 organisations.

READ MORE: KPMG appoints former Saica president as new CEO

Professor Wiseman Nkuhlu, the company’s executive chairperson, called the decision to fund civil society “an important step in ensuring redress for the actions of the past”.

The firm announced last week that Ignatius Sehoole will fill the role of its new chief executive from May 1 next year.

KPMG recently said CEO Nhlamulo Dlomu would be stepping down and it would seek an external head to spearhead the company’s quest to repair its reputation. Dlomu was appointed last year after KPMG suffered reputational damage for its work for Gupta companies and Sars. It fired its previous leadership over the scandals.

“Given the scale of the reputational challenges facing both KPMG and the industry, the board has decided that a new chief executive from outside the firm, with strong industry experience, will optimise prospects of rebuilding trust,” the company said in October.

(Compiled by Daniel Friedman. Additional reporting by ANA)

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