Former KPMG CEO loses his Alexander Forbes job over Gupta link

Former KPMG Africa lead, Moses Kgosana, has announced he will be resigning as a non-executive director at Alexander Forbes, following media reports implying he turned a blind eye to dodgy Gupta dealings during his time at the auditing firm.

In a statement on Monday, Kgosana said that since becoming aware of recently published allegations in respect of KPMG which related to his previous position, he believes resigning is the correct course of action for himself, the company, its clients and shareholders.

Kgosana was due to take up the position of chairman at the end of August 2017, but has now withdrawn.

He said he felt that the demands on his time in the role of chairman of the company, while attending to the allegations, would interfere with his deliverable expectations.

The former KPMG executive was implicated in the most recent string of Gupta emails, published by investigative group amaBhungane, laying out allegations of money laundering involved with the infamous 2013 Gupta wedding at Sun City.

According to the report, Gupta-linked businesses took money meant for an agricultural project in the Free State, and ran it through bank accounts in India belonging to other businesses owned by or related to the family.

Two different Gupta-linked companies – Linkbay Trading and Accurate Investments – were then billed for and paid the tune of R30 million for wedding services, to cover the cost of the 2013 Gupta wedding at Sun City.

According to amaBhungane, KPMG, under the leadership of Kgosana, did not pick up on the laundering taking place, and also ignored warnings from junior auditors on the matter.

The auditing firm was also criticised for Kgosana attending the wedding, and praising the Gupta family in subsequent emails, calling it the “event of the millennium”.

In a thank you email sent to the Guptas after the wedding, Kgosana wrote: “My wife and I were privileged to attend and enjoyed every moment and every occasion. I have never been to an event like that and probably will not because it was an event of the millennium.”

The firm said it was standard for its executives to attend big events held by its clients.

“The wedding took place in 2013 and attendance by some of our Partners was approved at that time by our Risk Management team and Executive Committee. The accommodation and travel costs were borne by KPMG. We are satisfied that our independence was not impaired at any stage,” it said.

The firm also denied any wrongdoing in its auditing processes, saying that the alleged money laundering highlighted in the report was processed by companies it did not audit, and those companies did not come up as related parties.

Following the reports, KPMG faces an investigation by Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA). It says it will cooperate fully with the investigation and give their own account.

Alexander Forbes welcomed Kgosana’s ‘executive decision’ to resign. Current chairman Sello Moloko will remain non-executive chairman in the interim, as the group looks for his replacement.

Read: KPMG faces investigation – denies turning a blind eye to alleged Gupta money laundering

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Former KPMG CEO loses his Alexander Forbes job over Gupta link