SAICA moves against CAs mentioned in VBS fraud report

SAICA affirms commitment to restoring trust in profession, investigates CAs(SA) implicated in VBS fraud.

In response to the forensic report on the alleged fraud that took place at VBS Mutual Bank, the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) acknowledges that certain accountants have been implicated and confirms that those who have contravened the SAICA Code of Professional Conduct will be held accountable.

The report was commissioned by the Reserve Bank following a severe liquidity crisis at VBS in March this year, which led to the Reserve Bank placing VBS under curatorship. A team of forensic investigators led by Werksmans Attorneys and advocate Terry Motau was appointed to determine what caused this crisis. 

The VBS Mutual Bank – The Great Bank Heist report was released this week containing various explosive findings, including the conclusion that the perpetrators of the fraud made away with almost R2 billion. 

The investigators wrote:

“It emerges from the forensic accountants’ report that an amount of R1.899 million was gratuitously received from VBS by some 53 persons of interest, both natural and juristic, over the period 1 March 2015 to 17 June 2018.”

The chartered accountants who have been mentioned in the report who are members of SAICA are:  
•    Phalaphala Avhashoni Ramikosi
•    Bhekwayinkosi Gift Manyanga
•    Charl Cilliers
•    David Broom
•    Mariëtte Venter
•    Sechaba Serote
•    Andile Malusi Atwell Ramavhunga
•    Tshifhiwa Matodzi

People implicated in the report who are referred to as accountants but are not members of SAICA and therefore fall outside our jurisdiction are:
•    Yolanda Deale
•    Yvonne Page
•    Kafuma Munalula

There is one chartered accountant who is a member of SAICA as well as a registered auditor with the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) and therefore, according to the SAICA by-laws, needs to go through the IRBA’s disciplinary process first:
•    Nhlanhla Kelvin Sipho Malaba

SAICA does not comment in the media on any disciplinary matters that are still ongoing, but can confirm the process that members in the investigation process face.

The SAICA Disciplinary Code applies only to its members, and not accounting, auditing or consultancy firms, which fall under the jurisdiction of other bodies. 

SAICA does not have powers of search, seizure or subpoena, so will rely significantly on the investigative capacity and findings of external prosecutorial authorities.

Says Fanisa Lamola, SAICA acting CEO: 

“SAICA is doing all we can to restore trust in the profession and ensure that our members, irrespective of the roles they happen to occupy, re-commit to operate in the public interest. For this reason, we will leave no stone unturned in our quest to ensure that any CA(SA) who is found to have transgressed the SAICA Code is dealt with appropriately. SAICA members who fail to uphold the highest ethical and professional standards compromise our public and private sector institutions and our economy as a whole.”