/ 6 December 2018

Saica launches new bid to discipline ex-VBS bosses

Don’t bank on it: The chairperson of VBS Mutual Bank
Tshifhiwa Matodzi (left) Andile Ramavhunga. (Mduduzi Ndzingi/Sowetan/Gallo Images)

The South African Institute for Chartered Accountants (Saica) is hoping to end 2018 with disciplinary action in the bag against two former VBS Mutual Bank leaders, as the industry comes under pressure to deal with errant accountants.

The institute’s legal team will on Thursday argue again that former VBS and Vele Investments chairperson Tshifhiwa Matodzi, and former VBS chief executive Andile Ramavhunga should be struck off the CA (SA) roll after they were provisionally sequestrated by the Johannesburg high court in July and August respectively.

READ MORE: Saica to take action against accountants implicated in VBS Bank ‘heist’

The pair was not present at the hearings on November 9, and the committee chairperson was concerned that not enough had been done to contact and inform them of the disciplinary proceedings against them.

According to a Saica by-law, members can lose their CA (SA) status if they have been provisionally or finally sequestrated. This ruling is subject to the discretion of the disciplinary committee.

The sequestration applications for Matodzi and Ramavhunga’s estates, together with that of other VBS executives, were bought by the bank’s curator Anoosh Rooplal in a bid to recoup some of the nearly R2-billion which was allegedly plundered from the bank. The Limpopo-based bank was placed under curatorship in March by the South African Reserve Bank.

READ MORE: Two more VBS execs provisionally sequestrated

Sequestration is a legal act which allows creditors or the state to seize or remove assets. Rooplal is still determining the final value of their estates before applying for a final sequestration order against them.

Saica has faced criticism from former finance minister Trevor Manuel for the slow pace of disciplinary action against high-profile accountants, such as former KPMG executives involved in the Gupta audits, former Eskom chief financial officer Anoj Singh and former Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste, who is also a qualified chartered accountant.

The Saica rule against members who face sequestration orders allows the professional body to by-pass the lengthy process of the complaint first being referred to the Professional Conduct Committee, where the accused member is invited to make representations before the disciplinary committee hears the matter and makes a ruling.

Saica’s legal team was unable to comment on whether they had reached Matodzi and Ramavhunga to inform them of Thursday’s proceedings.

Media was unable to contact Matodzi and Ramavhunga. — Fin24