Jessica Fino 12 Jan 2018 04:53pm

South African regulator’s probe into KPMG “nearing completion”

The Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) has said one of the lines of its investigation into KPMG is “nearing completion” while others are progressing “satisfactorily”

The South African regulator gave an update on Friday about the progress of its investigation into KPMG’s involvement in the Gupta scandal.

KPMG South Africa’s chief executive Trevor Hoole, chairman Ahmed Jaffer, COO Steven Louw and five other senior partners resigned last year after an internal report found the firm had missed warning signs in the audits of Gupta-controlled companies.

The update follows criticism from Daily Maverick, a South African news website, which suggested this week the independent inquiry seemed to "have ground to a halt".

The site wrote, “A key witness willing to testify has been left hanging by IRBA, SAICA, KPMG as well as the commission, who have not made any contact since November.”

But the IRBA said it was still waiting for information from KPMG in two matters. It added that it was continuing to engage with KPMG to obtain the information necessary to complete these investigations.

The regulator pointed out that its investigation is completely independent of the Ntsebeza enquiry initiated by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants.

“With respect to the SARS matter, the IRBA engaged with the SARS Commissioner and most of the information has been received subsequently from KPMG. The IRBA is confident that the additional information will be supplied in due course,” it added.

The Big Four firm’s global head John Veihmeyer has “sincerely” apologised for the scandal engulfing KPMG South Africa.