Parliament - New KPMG South Africa chief executive Nhlamu Dlomu on Thursday said should the auditing firm find any evidence of criminal wrongdoing on the part of employees it would not hesitate to act.
Dlomu was speaking to journalists shortly after she was in the hot seat in Parliament's standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) over the company's work done for the South African Revenue Service (Sars) and the politically connected Gupta family's companies.
"Should KPMG find any criminal doing from any of our employees, as a responsible employer, we would have to institute such proceedings. This is not limited to any grouping, its any of the employees who are found to be criminally liable," said Dlomu.
Dlomu had earlier told MPs that no action had been taken against various executives who had resigned after the company admitted work done for the Gupta-owned companies "fell considerably short of KPMG’s standards".
The company also withdrew a report it compiled for the Sars into the existence of a "rogue spy unit" on the watch of former finance minister Pravin Gordhan, saying the report contained mistakes.
Dlomu said the executives were paid severance packages, although she would not confirm how much the exit packages cost KPMG SA.
She conceded to Scopa that although the executives were not physically working, they were still on the payroll to ensure a smooth handover process.
MPs were not happy, saying they preferred to see those responsible for possibly turning a blind eye to alleged corruption in handcuffs, pushing Dlomu to make several commitments to Parliament.
This included that they would support a probe by the Independent Regulatory Board of Auditors (IRBA), providing it with outstanding documents, and another independent inquiry into the auditing firm by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA).
“We are committed to taking appropriate action against those individuals. We ask for a chance to act on these issues that have been raised," Dlomu said to MPs.
On Tuesday, IRBA told Parliament’s standing committee on finance it had met with KPMG international chairman Bill Thomas and urged him to ensure full cooperation with its investigation into work KPMG SA did for the Gupta family’s business empire.
The IRBA probe at this point focused on KPMG’s role in the auditing of Linkway Trading, a company that belongs to the Gupta family, and was allegedly involved in the diversion of public funds invested into the Vrede dairy farm in the Free State to the United Arab Emirates. It also includes the fact that KPMG executives attended a Gupta family wedding at Sun City in 2014.
It is alleged that funds funnelled to the UAE were used to pay for the lavish wedding.
MPs also heard the IRBA investigation could be expanded to include the KPMG report on the so-called rogue intelligence unit set up within the Sars on Gordhan's watch.
The report was commissioned by Sars commissioner Tom Moyane, and has been used as the basis for unsuccessful attempts to lay criminal charges against Gordhan.
Since the news broke the company have lost clients, including Wits University and Parliament.
Asked by journalists about the scope of losses as a result of a lack of confidence in the company's integrity, Dlomu said: "Everyone of our clients is important to us so to us the value of the loss we will calculate but the value of the relationship is what we are working on."
The company was in constant talks with clients to provide them with reassurances, she said.