IRBA to probe KPMG as latest Gupta scandal breaks
Audit watchdog, the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) is investigating whether KPMG defied regulation when it audited a company owned by the Gupta family. This, after reports following an investigation by AmaBhungane and Scorpio revealed that government funds intended for empowerment projects in the Free State were instead used to pay for a Gupta wedding.
Bernard Agulhas (pictured), IRBA chief executive, has been quoted in mainstream media as saying:
"When there's any indication that the auditors might have been involved in any misconduct, when such misconduct is reported we will see if there is a link to the auditors. Because not all misconducts necessarily involve the auditors. From this particular case, from the media and what we've seen so far, we're a little concerned about independence."
The AmaBhungane and Scorpio investigation shows a string of money transfers between the provincial government and companies owned by the Gupta family. It further shows that Linkway Trading, one of the companies, and indeed the one which paid for the wedding, invoiced another Gupta company for the wedding expenses. It is being alleged that when KPMG audited the books, it allowed Linkway to be reimbursed for the expenses by a related company.