Abil’s ex-BEE part­ners in new bat­tle against Deloitte

CityPress - - Business - – Justin Brown

The for­mer em­pow­er­ment part­ners of African Bank In­vest­ments Lim­ited (Abil) have en­gaged in a new bat­tle with Abil’s for­mer au­di­tor, Deloitte, by fil­ing a com­plaint with the body that reg­u­lates lo­cal au­di­tors.

Des­mond Lockey, who is Hlu­misa In­vest­ment Hold­ings’ chair­per­son and a share­holder of Ey­omh­laba In­vest­ment Hold­ings, this week lodged a com­plaint with the In­de­pen­dent Reg­u­la­tory Board of Au­di­tors (Irba).

The 13 000 Hlu­misa and Ey­omh­laba share­hold­ers want to claim R2.1 bil­lion from the for­mer Abil di­rec­tors and Deloitte fol­low­ing Abil’s fail­ure.

Lockey al­leged in an af­fi­davit, on be­half of the for­mer em­pow­er­ment part­ners, that Deloitte had breached Au­dit­ing Pro­fes­sions Act pro­vi­sions, para­graphs of Irba’s code of con­duct, as well as the code of con­duct for reg­is­tered au­di­tors.

In his com­plaint – which City Press has a copy of – Lockey high­lighted nu­mer­ous para­graphs from the My­burgh Re­port into the af­fairs of Abil and African Bank and al­leged Deloitte was “un­com­fort­able, in many re­spects, with the con­duct ... [but] kept their si­lence”.

Deloitte Africa CEO Lwazi Bam said: “Deloitte is aware that Irba is in­ves­ti­gat­ing a com­plaint in re­la­tion to this is­sue. We have been and con­tinue to co­op­er­ate with Irba on this in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“No ad­verse find­ings have been made by the My­burgh Com­mis­sion about the way Deloitte ful­filled and com­plied with all its le­gal and pro­fes­sional obli­ga­tions,” he said.

Bernard Agul­has, Irba CEO, con­firmed on Fri­day that his or­gan­i­sa­tion had re­ceived Lockey’s com­plaint on Thurs­day.

Irba was busy with its own in­ves­ti­ga­tion into African Bank and would in­cor­po­rate Lockey’s com­plaint against Deloitte into that probe, he said.

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