Vega Gupta and Aakash Jahajgariah had a lavish wedding at Sun City in 2013, which was allegedly partially funded by SA taxpayers. Picture: Supplied
The board of the Institute of Directors in Southern Africa (IoDSA) has suspended all of its co-branded activities with KPMG, including the auditing firm’s sponsorship of its golf day and its involvement in the Audit Committee Forum.

The decision was welcomed by FutureSA in a statement, issued on its behalf by the Kathrada Foundation, yesterday.

It comes after the #GuptaLeaks exposé revealing that KPMG had failed to track that funds from the Free State government meant for a dairy farm project had contributed to the controversial and lavish R30-million wedding of Vega Gupta and Aakash Jahajgarhia at Sun City in 2013.

“We must commend the IoDSA for taking a stance against KPMG, as well as others who have now disassociated with the auditing firm,” said convener Mandla Nkomfe. “We also welcome the investigation by the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors. This forms part of ongoing action and pressure that needs to be put on all those involved in, or covering up corruption and state capture.”

He also welcomed the termination of British public relations firm Bell Pottinger’s membership of the Public Relations and Communications Association in Britain following reports of how the public relations firm exploited racial divisions in South Africa through its work for the Guptas.

“The concern expressed by members of Britain’s House of Lords over the Bell Pottinger issue, as well as the tough stance taken by some businesses to sever ties with the PR firm, sends a strong message that supporting projects that aim to exploit divisions and derail a country’s democratic process, are unacceptable.”

On whether it was a case of erroneous oversight or gross covering up of corruption by KPMG, political analyst Somadoda Fikeni said it was difficult to tell. “There are several scenarios: one is the company may not have been aware but the auditors may have colluded and tried to cook up the figures.

“Another possibility is the company and the auditors may have been aware that something was not becoming, but because of the profit and the lucrativeness they might have overlooked such a risk. Or the firm was presented with wrong facts.”

Sunday Tribune