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Wits will not renew KPMG contracts

- Wits University

Media release about the decision by the Council of the University of the Witwatersrand:

The Council of the University of the Witwatersrand resolved at its meeting on Friday, 29 September 2017, not to renew contracts with KPMG for internal auditing and risk management services once the current annual assignments have been completed for the 2017 financial year. 

This decision was taken following a meeting with the current CEO of KPMG, international KPMG representatives and members of the University Council’s Audit and Council Risk committees. This was following an earlier meeting a few weeks ago between Wits executive managers and other KPMG representatives. 

Members of the Council Audit and Council Risk committees deliberated long and hard on the presentations made by KPMG. The committees acknowledged that KPMG did take some actions, including releasing the CEO, COO and a number of senior partners to mitigate the reputational damage that it suffered as a result of its relationship with Gupta associated companies and its complicity in the SARS report but felt that KPMG had not gone far enough. Further, it was agreed that KPMG had not been sufficiently transparent and that it is hard to reconcile KPMG’s conclusion that no one did anything illegal, when senior individuals have been dismissed and the SARS report has been retracted. 

In these circumstances, the Council believes that it would have been prudent to acknowledge the ethical and legal lapses of KPMG’s senior management team. Further, the company should have embarked on programmes to correct the wrongs that have been done to individuals and institutions. The Council also believes that an independent investigation should have been initiated at the outset. 

Given these considerations, the joint meeting of the Council Audit and Council Risk committees and the Council of the University of the Witwatersrand concluded that it would terminate its relationship with KPMG at the end of this financial year. 

PWC will remain the University’s external auditors.