IRBA dismissed complaint against SAA’s Kwinana in 2018

The Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) has confirmed that it dismissed a non-audit complaint against former SAA board member Yakhe Kwinana in 2018, “because a lack of evidence at the time of the investigation made it unlikely that the complaint would succeed”.

According to the first report published by the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, the management style and approach of then-SAA chairperson Duduzile Myeni and Kwinana “enabled acts of fraud and corruption to engulf the entities. They became companies in which decision making was driven by the benefits that would accrue to those in charge as opposed to what was in the companies’ best interests.”

In a media statement on 19 January, IRBA said: “All SAA matters were fully investigated during the 2017 to 2019 years. The results of these investigations have been through all the appropriate committee structures within the IRBA.

“On the audit-related matters, the individual joint auditors were found guilty in total on five charges. Both respondents accepted the monetary sanctions determined by the IRBA.”

This refers to Pule Mothibe, the audit partner at PwC responsible for the SAA audit for the 2013/14 to 2015/16 financial years, and Thuto Masasa, the lead audit partner at Nkonki, which audited SAA with PwC. They were fined a total of R800 000 each.

“On the non-audit related complaints, one of the respondents opted not to accept the monetary sanction, and this matter has been referred for a disciplinary hearing. This matter is on the IRBA roll and will be set down for a hearing in due course.

“The investigation relating to the other non-audit complaint was finalised in 2018, and the complaint was dismissed in terms of Disciplinary Rule, being that there were no reasonable prospects of success to succeed with a charge of improper conduct against the respondent at that time.”

IRBA confirmed to Moonstone that this complaint referred to Kwinana, who was also the chairperson of SAA’s audit and risk committee.

Asked for details of the complaint, IRBA’s acting chief executive, Imre Nagy, said: “We are not able to disclose this information, as the Disciplinary Advisory Committee (the delegated sub-committee of the IRBA board) did not authorise publication of details of the dismissed complaint.”

The Zondo commission was established in January 2018, and it held its first hearing in August of that year.

IRBA’s media statement said it welcomed the investigation by the SA Institute of Chartered Accountants (Saica) into Kwinana and other implicated chartered accountants.

“We support initiatives by law enforcement agencies and other relevant authorities in taking appropriate action. The IRBA will continue to support the process of accountability for professionals implicated in state capture and corruption.”

IRBA told Moonstone that the Auditing Profession Amendment Act, which came into effect in April 2021, now requires IRBA to refer all non-audit matters to Saica, so IRBA can focus on audit matters.

Asked whether another complaint could be lodged with IRBA against Kwinana, Nagy said: “Yes, another complaint with sufficient further supporting evidence can be laid against a respondent where the complaint was dismissed in terms of Disciplinary Rule”

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