Picture: Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting.

CAPE TOWN - The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (Saica) has come under harsh scrutiny by industry stakeholders for allegedly dropping the accounting profession “into the gutter”. 

Saica was reportedly slammed during a Courageous Conversations event earlier this week. 

According to JSE chairperson of the financial reporting investigations panel and former Saica employee, Linda de Beer, Saica’s board structure is “fundamentally flawed”, reports Fin24.

She added that Saica’s mission statement was “too self-serving” and moved from “hero to zero”. 

De Beer said that Saica had lost focus and is no longer serving justice to its members. 

In addition, KPMG Chairperson Wiseman Nkuhlu reportedly agreed with de Beer. 

The organisation has also reportedly been criticised by one of its members, Khaya Sithole who has called for the entire board to be dismissed. 

Saica has since responded to this by distancing themselves from Sithole. According to a statement released today by the organisation, Saica distanced itself from the allegations and reiterated its support for its whole leadership team.

On the investigative reports mentioned in the report, SAICA Chairman Lwazi Bam stated:  “The board takes all allegations against its members, or against SAICA office bearers extremely seriously.  As a result, when allegations emerged about potential misconduct by employees, we commissioned a forensic investigation by PWC. The board has received the investigative report and is currently considering all the outcomes contained in the report. What we can say categorically, based on the report, is that none of SAICA’s executive management was implicated in the investigation.”

"Separate to this process, an un-mandated report was drawn up by a staff member and was discovered when circulated to the Board. This document contains defamatory and damaging judgements without basis in fact. It has no official standing whatsoever. The board considers its contents, and the irregular way in which it was drawn up and circulated, to be malicious and unfounded", added Bam. 

In closing the Chairman said: "The Board has full confidence in the integrity and professionalism of its acting CEO and her executive management team and will continue to support them in the execution of their duties.”

Notably, Sithole is currently facing disciplinary hearings for allegedly forging a signature. 

In other Saica news, the organisation on Tuesday announced that it will begin with disciplinary proceedings against former Eskom CFO, Anoj Singh.

This comes after the former Chief Financial Officer was charged with misconduct. 

According to Saica, Singh was has represented himself in a “discreditable” and “dishonourable” manner.

He also failed to adhere to the principles of Saica. Meanwhile, Singh has been given 21 days to respond to the organisation regarding the charges.

Singh’s response will hold heavy weight because if the committee is not pleased, he could face a fine of R250 000 per charge and have his membership suspended for a year.

The former Eskom CFO got Parliament hot under the collar in December last year when he he submitted documents late for the inquiry into state capture with MPs accusing him of delaying tactics and undermining Parliament.Singh was the first Eskom official to be sent packing and did not give evidence as his decision  he left MPs fuming.

Singh was first notified of his appearance in July last year, and when he showed up yesterday he had submitted the 400-page document to the MPs the night before.

“We received the documents of 400 pages last night at 11pm. We have not prepared anything because you have made us not to prepare. We will not do justice as a committee, as the documents came late.

I want to register our disappointment as a committee, as we informed you in July. You have undermined the work of the committee,” said acting chairperson of the portfolio committee on public enterprises Zukiswa Rantho. The late submission gave members of the committee little time to study his evidence before they could question him.

READ MORE: Saica gets ready to take action against Anoj Singh

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