Private sector must also be censured when in the wrong – Jonas

The denouncing of KPMG and Bell Pottinger by South African citizens is a good trend and bodes well for the country, former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas says.

Speaking at the Public Servants Association’s media briefing during its annual general meeting in Pretoria on Monday, Jonas said it was not only the public sector that should be censured when at fault.

“It’s not only public sector that we must censure. We must actually censure the private sector, because if it behaves badly it undermines, not only the potential growth, but even the profitability of companies,” he said.

Jonas added South Africa’s immune system against corruption – a good judiciary, strong public opinion and a robust media – had been effective in dealing with KPMG and Bell Pottinger.

“I hope that more will come around these areas.”

Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) general secretary Dennis George also weighed in on KPMG, saying that this was the beginning of the end for the company in South Africa.

He said they had damaged their reputation by doing business with the controversial Gupta family.

#GuptaLeaks exposé in June revealed how the Free State provincial government had largely picked up the tab for a lavish Gupta family wedding at Sun City. KPMG was allegedly involved in siphoning taxpayer money to pay for the affair.

KPMG also submitted a report to South African Revenue Services (Sars) which was used by the Hawks and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in launching an investigation into the unit. Former finance minister Pravin Gordhan was implicated in the report. This report has since been retracted, with KPMG saying they were wrong.

Gordhan previously slammed KPMG for the report. “Its allegations have no foundation. They are based on a leaked document that even I haven’t seen,” he said.

SARS Commissioner Tom Moyane said KPMG’s decision to retract parts of its report on the so-called “rogue unit”, which implicated Gordhan, was a “dismal attempt” to portray the tax authority and its leadership as incompetent, corrupt, and being engaged in a witch-hunt.

Moyane added that SARS would be taking legal action against KPMG.

Meanwhile, PR firm Bell Pottinger has been placed under administration, following its expulsion from the UK’s Public Relations and Communications Association.

The expulsion emanated from a complaint by the Democratic Alliance (DA) regarding the firm’s work for the Gupta family, in which it alleged that the firm had incited racial hatred in South Africa through their campaign to divert the narrative from state capture. – News24

Alex Mitchley
Alex Mitchley
South African Journalist at News24
Lameez Omarjee
Lameez Omarjee
Parliamentary reporter at Fin24.com
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