Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi
Alexander Forbes yesterday left the door open for non-executive director Moses Kgosana who resigned on Monday following revelations he had a close relationship with Atul Gupta when he was with audit firm KPMG advising on Oakbay entities.

The company said it would wait for Kgosana, who was meant to take up the chairmanship of the auditing and risk firm at the end of the next month, to clear his name.

Alexander Forbes chief executive Andrew Darfoor said Kgosana had asked to be given time to focus on the allegations. “He has, therefore, stepped down from all involvement with Alexander Forbes. Mr Kgosana is, however, naturally welcome to engage with Alexander Forbes’ board at any time.

“At present, Sello Moloko remains non-executive chairman. When we have any further updates on the matter we will communicate this accordingly.”

The softened stance came as Alexander Forbes yesterday made a raft of new appointments to its senior management team, appointing former SA Reserve Bank executive Naidene Ford-Hoon as chief financial officer and Christian Schaub as chief human resources (HR) officer.

The company also moved its former HR chief, Thabo Mashaba, to a new position as group chief empowerment and transformation officer.

It said the appointments would be effective from September 1.

Darfoor, however, denied the new appointments were meant to counter negative perceptions created by Kgosana’s entanglement in the Gupta affair.

“The executive appointments announced today are not in any way related to the resignation of Kgosana. Alexander Forbes has, as part of its Ambition 2022 vision announced well before Kgosana resigned, strengthening its executive management, and the appointments announced are part of that ongoing process.”

Kgosana joined the Alexander Forbes board in 2015, and earlier this year was appointed as the non-executive chairperson to replace Moloko, who was scheduled to step down.

Not forced out

Yesterday, Kgosana said he was not forced out of Alexander Forbes but resigned to protect the company being dragged into allegations that did not directly implicate it.

Kgosana insisted that his resignation was not an admission of guilt or wrongdoing.

Kgosana also defended his attendance of the Gupta wedding as part and parcel of his job. “As a chief executive of an audit firm, one of my roles is to have a relationship with top clients,” Kgosana said.

The Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) has since said it would conduct an investigation into the 2014 auditing of Linkway Trading, the company alleged to be involved in the Gupta wedding scandal.

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Corruption Watch executive director David Lewis said it was worrying that KPMG had once again been implicated in improper relations with clients.

“KPMG has been previously accused of bending the rules to satisfy its client, notably in relation to - having issued a flagrantly misleading and biased report smearing then minister of finance Pravin Gordhan - the alleged ‘rogue unit’ within Sars,” Lewis said.

KPMG in a statement denied any wrongdoing.

“At the time of the audit, based on facts known to us and representations made by management, Accurate Investments was an entity related to the father of the bride, an offshore resident, who was not related to the Oakbay group of companies,” the audit firm insisted.