South Africa’s Auditor-General, Kimi Makwetu, has announced that his office will terminate the auditing contracts it currently holds with KPMG with immediate effect.
Last year Makwetu announced that his office, while waiting for various investigations to conclude, would continue to use the services of KPMG – limited to the audits that were already allocated to the firm at the time.
In a statement released on Tuesday (17 April), Makwetu said that recent media reports relating to the external audit of VBS Mutual Bank and the conduct of KPMG audit partners are some of the reasons that prompted the decision to withdraw all KPMG audit mandates with immediate effect.
“As South Africa’s supreme audit institution, this country looks up to us to act and project an image of accountability, the same way we hold the entire public sector to account on how it uses taxpayers’ monies, ” Makwetu said.
“This is one of the tenets that have anchored this organisation for over 100 years, and we encourage all our employees and contracted audit firms to conduct themselves in a manner that will not erode this long-standing legacy.”
He added that the terminations were not a judgement on the capabilities or integrity of the professionals that work in the firms, but are recognition of the significant reputational risks associated with matters that affect them at present.