Danny McCance 28 Mar 2019 02:39pm

Gupta scandal: ex-KPMG SA partner struck off

The former KPMG South Africa lead partner on the audits of non-listed Gupta entities and auditor of Linkway Trading, Jacques Wessels, removed from register

In what is the first matter arising from the Gupta scandal to reach a disciplinary conclusion and sanction, the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA)
cancelled Wessels’ registration as an auditor.

In a previous disciplinary hearing he faced six charges of improper conduct related to the audit of Linkway Trading – two related to dishonesty, three to negligence and one to breach of auditor independence.

At the commencement of the hearing Wessels pleaded guilty to all six charges on a qualified basis.

Linkway Trading was one of the companies allegedly involved in a scheme to misappropriate funds that were then used to pay for an extravagant Gupta family wedding in Sun City in 2013.

Wessel’s behaviour was categorised by IRBA as “grossly negligent”, adding that he lacked diligence in his audit into the wedding.

The former partner resigned from KPMG South Africa in September last year, just after the firm said it was taking disciplinary action seeking dismissal.

He was also ordered to pay towards IRBA’s costs.

The committee was directed to notify the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants of the findings and sanction.