The South Africa Revenue Service (SARS) press briefing has the service boss, Tom Moyane responding to issues surrounding the KPMG decision to withdraw its report on the work the audit firm did for SARS and on behalf of the Gupta family.
The embattled audit firm, KPMG admitted that its investigation into the work it did for the Gupta companies and the SA Revenue Service’s “rogue unit” report had “fallen short” of its standards.
The firm also decided to repay the R23 million in fees it earned from SARS and donate R40m it earned from the Guptas to anti-corruption activities.
The firm’s shocking announcement and its latest moves to cleanse its battered reputation were met with threats of lawsuits and backlash from corporate South Africa.
Responding to these, the SARS commissioner released a statement relating how badly the revenue service was affected by KPMG’s “aberrant and unethical” conduct.
In his statement on the SARS Press Briefing, Moyane said:
- That SARS will be pursuing legal action against KPMG; it would also report the firm to statutory bodies in South Africa as well as internationally with the aim of blacklisting the company.
- That the Sikhakhane commission’s report was used to discipline the former Sars employees and not the KPMG report on the alleged “spy unit” at SARS.
- That some former employees of SARS admitted their alleged involvement in the spy unit.
- That those who are claiming exoneration from possible and alleged criminal offences, who are expected to be aware of this public facts, can only be attempting to mislead South Africans.
- That the former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan would be urged to ensure that KPMG does not work with any other departments.
- That SARS will be assessing KPMG’s works from the past 10 years and report the firm to Parliament.
- That SARS will ensure that all revenue due to the state are collected both legally and efficiently whilst protecting our borders and facilitating trade.
- That those who are unfairly and unjustly accusing SARS of improper conduct on the basis of the KPMG media statement to desist from such conduct.
- That SARS criminal case on the matter is in progress and that it hopes for its speedy conclusion.
Prior to the SARS press briefing, Pravin Gordhan had slammed the KPMG LLP after it withdrew the findings of a report on the country’s tax agency that was used as evidence in a police probe against him and led to the removal of senior staff.
He said the report severely intimidated a number of good people and that the withdrawal of the report does not make amends for the pains they have gone through.
“It is high time that business, and especially professional firms such as KPMG, learn how to apologize properly and tell the whole truth. I shall be meeting with my lawyers in two days to consider our next step,” he said.
KPMG is the latest international company that has come under fire for becoming embroiled in South Africa’s politics.
British public-relations firm Bell Pottinger LLP applied for administration on September 12 after being expelled from a U.K. public-relations body for stoking racial tensions in South Africa while working for the Guptas.
South African anti-corruption groups are targeting U.S. consultancy McKinsey & Co. for doing work for businesses tied to the family.
The KPMG said on Friday that its South African chief executive officer, chairman and six other senior managers quit after an internal probe criticized the company’s conduct in auditing companies controlled by the Gupta family, who are friends of South African President Jacob Zuma.
In a latest SARS Press briefing commissioner, Tom Moyane issued a statement following the KPMG international report on 15 September 2017.