The Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) has been asked to dump the unsettled audit and professional services firm KPMG after advice from Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu.
A report on an investigation into the affairs of the institution showed that as far back as 2009 issues had been raised about the professional integrity of the firm’s work as MUT’s external auditors.
“We have no record as to what action, if any, was taken to correct the breach in confidence that resulted from there,” read the report by former Unisa vice-chancellor Professor Barney Pityana.
The report stated that it was even worse that MUT had continued to find reason to commit to KPMG despite being advised differently by Makwetu.
KPMG has taken a hit after it was discovered that it had conducted business with a number of companies owned by the Gupta family.
Last month, KPMG announced that it would distribute R47 million in fees paid for auditing the books of Gupta-owned companies to 52 civil society organisations and NPOs in the education sector.
In 2017, KPMG made a commitment to donating fees earned from Gupta-related entities to education and anti-corruption NGOs amounting to R20m each.
The company has seen a huge reduction in the number of staff from its South African operations, including its former chief executive and senior partner Moses Kgosana, who admitted that he had attended the notorious Gupta wedding in Sun City in May 2013.
Some of its senior employees have been reported to the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) for investigation.
KPMG was also implicated in advocate Terry Motau’s Great Bank Heist report on the VBS Mutual Bank after the firm had allegedly “turned a blind eye to irregularities and corruption at the bank”.
The company has acknowledged that failings at the firm have contributed to the negative perceptions about the audit profession and it has accepted responsibility to work towards improving the situation.
“The controversy around the industry has undermined public confidence and this needs to be restored through thoughtful and constructive measures,” it said earlier this year.