Friday, 15 September 2017

KPMG South Africa CEO Quits After Probe Into Work for Guptas.

KPMG LLP said the head of its South African office and seven other senior executives quit after an internal investigation found that work done for the politically connected Gupta family fell “considerably short” of the auditing firm’s standards.

South African Chief Executive Officer Trevor Hoole, local Chairman Ahmed Jaffer and Chief Operating Officer Steven Louw were among those to have resigned, KPMG’s Johannesburg-based unit said in an emailed statement on Friday. While the probe didn’t find “any evidence of illegal behavior or corruption,” a change in leadership is needed, it said.

KPMG follows U.K. public relations firm Bell Pottinger LLP in firing staff responsible for work done on behalf of companies tied to the Guptas, who are friends with President Jacob Zuma and in business with one of his sons. The family have been accused of using the relationship to influence government appointments and the awarding of state contracts. Zuma and the Guptas deny any wrongdoing. 

South Africa’s main opposition party and anti-corruption groups have been targeting overseas firms with connections to the family while waiting for local prosecutors to act on allegations. The Democratic Alliance has also requested that McKinsey & Co.’s local and U.S. representatives be called before a parliamentary committee’s inquiry to explain some of the work the consultancy did with a company linked to the Guptas.

Full story at Bloomberg.

By John Bowker and Paul Burkhardt.

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