KPMG to re­assess ties to the Gup­tas

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - STAFF RE­PORTER

KPMG South Africa has an­nounced it has sus­pended a part­ner and re­lieved two oth­ers of their board ex­ec­u­tives as the au­dit­ing firm be­gins the process of re­view­ing their re­la­tion­ship with the con­tro­ver­sial Gupta fam­ily.

Trevor Hoole, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of KPMG South Africa, said in a state­ment yes­ter­day that his firm would be work­ing with KPMG In­ter­na­tional (KPMGI) to ad­dress the is­sues raised by var­i­ous stake­hold­ers re­gard­ing the work pre­vi­ously done with com­pa­nies re­lated to the Gupta fam­ily. “Mis­takes have been made and painful lessons have been learnt,” he said. The review team will be led by an ex­pe­ri­enced se­nior part­ner from the KPMG net­work, who will re­port to KPMGI’s global vice-chair of qual- ity risk and reg­u­la­tory, as well as to the South African Board.

“While the last au­dit opin­ions for the group were signed for the Fe­bru­ary 28, 2015 year ends, it is now clear that based on pub­licly- avail­able in­for­ma­tion, KPMG should have re­signed ear­lier than March 2016 and should have stopped work­ing for the Gupta com­pa­nies sooner.

“In my judge­ment, we were too slow to recog­nise the wider pub­lic in­ter­est re­lated to these mat­ters,” the state­ment read.

Hoole’s ad­mis­sion comes af­ter e-mails from the Gupta Leaks showed that pay­ments had al­legedly been made to the fam­ily’s Linkway Trad­ing com­pany and were used to cover the costs of the wed­ding held at Sun City in 2013. The e-mails also re­vealed that four lo­cal KPMG part­ners were guests at the wed­ding.

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