SAICA tightens controls after Trillian-repayment

SAICA and its Thuthuka Bursary Fund have enhanced their donor vetting process "to avert any possible recurrence" of the situation where the fund had to return money to a company that is linked to the notorious Gupta-family.

The institute announced the tightened controls in a press release after EFF-leader Julius Malema had questioned the appointment of SAICA CEO Terence Nombembe (pictured, photo copyright: SAICA) as head of investigations in the state capture commission. According to Malema, Nombembe is not a suitable person for this role, because SAICA’s bursary fund for disadvantaged students received R1.2 million from Trillian on 28 February 2017, when this company had already been publicly linked to the Gupta’s.

 

In July, the SAICA board decided to pay back the money, because of the controversies around Trillian. In October, SAICA already said that “the staff responsible for the issue would not have been aware of the controversy”, which is “why the board, as part of its checks and balances, had picked up this particular situation and made the right decision”.

According to the SAICA statement, the institute refutes any link with state capture:

“SAICA and its entities have never been party to any form of state capture or been consciously involved with those accused of any such dealings”.

SAICA’s acting CEO Fanisa Lamola emphasised that Trillian’s donation was unsolicited. Besides paying back the money, the institute has also tightened its controls to avoid being caught out again by dodgy donors, she said. “This is in order to ensure that the important work which SAICA and its entities do with regard to providing not only financial but academic and psycho-social support to historically disadvantaged students country-wide, is not compromised in anyway."