Former KPMG auditor Jacques Wessels struck off the register for shoddy Gupta audits

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The audit work relates to transactions for the Gupta wedding held at Sun City in 2013.

The Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) on Thursday struck the former audit partner at KPMG, Jacques Wessels, from its register after he was found guilty of misconduct.

Wessels was the registered auditor for KPMG responsible for the audits of Linkway Trading, a project management company in the Oakbay Group of companies that project-managed the infamous Gupta wedding in 2013.

The charges included audit work relating to transactions for the Gupta wedding held at Sun City in 2013.

This is the first matter arising from the Gupta Leaks to reach a disciplinary conclusion and sanction after the IRBA’s disciplinary committee convened a disciplinary hearing against Wessels in July 2018.

Wessels faced six charges of improper conduct, each with several sub-charges. At the commencement of the disciplinary proceedings, Wessels pleaded guilty to all six charges of improper conduct on a qualified basis.

Two of the six charges involved allegations of dishonesty, three charges related to negligence and one charge related to a breach of auditor independence. All the charges emanated from auditing the annual financial statements of Linkway Trading for the year ended February 28 2014.

The IRBA’s disciplinary committee has ordered that the registration of Wessels as a registered auditor be cancelled and that his name is removed from the IRBA register. In addition, Wessels was ordered to pay a contribution towards the IRBA’s costs.

Further, the committee ruled that the Wessels’ name, the name of his firm, the charges against him, the findings in respect of the charges and sanction imposed on him be published by IRBA.

In addition, it ordered that the decision on the charges and sanction may be released to the media and directed IRBA to notify the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (Saica) of the findings and sanction.

Linkway Trading formed part of a group of companies called Islandsite Group whose major shareholders were the Gupta family. Wessels was the KPMG engagement partner for Linkway Trading and most of the companies in the Islandsite Group.

– African News Agency

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