Tongaat Hulett undergoes forensic investigation for "concerning" past practices

The company reports hit of up to R4.5 billion following a review of its accounting practices.

Tongaat Hulett released a statement on Friday saying its 2018 results could face a potential hit of up to R4.5 billion following a review of its accounting practices. 

The statement said that once the forensic investigation and report findings are complete and the final accounting treatments are resolved by the company, the auditors will then complete the outstanding audit processes. “The board is committed to finalising the financial statements as soon as reasonably possible,” the statement read. 

Current timelines indicate that the company’s audited consolidated financial statements for the year ended 31 March 2019, which will include the restated prior financial information, should be released by October 2019.

The statement said Tongaat’s strategic and financial review had revealed “past practices which are of significant concern”, which have resulted in its financial statements for the year ended March 2018 not reflecting the underlying business performance accurately. 

The company’s share price plunged 7.73 percent to R16.70 following the announcement. 
 
This comes shortly after the resignation of independent non-executive director and chairman of the audit and compliance committee Jenitha John, with effect from 31 May 2019. 

According to a statement, she resigned “owing to other work commitments, and Tongaat’s increased demands on her time, given the current business challenges”.
 
Fatima Daniels will be taking her place as chairman of the audit and compliance committee.