The chairman of KPMG South Africa, Wiseman Nkuhlu, has appealed for the firm to be seen as a changed business, following months of efforts to regain public trust after becoming embroiled in major corruption scandals including the high-profile Gupta scandal.
In recent times, KPMG hasn’t had things sway their way having lost more than 20 listed audit clients since the Gupta family incident broke out in 2017 alongside other allegations of corruption against the firm. In an open letter published in South African newspapers, KPMG South Africa said the local unit of the auditing giant was “very different” from 18 months ago, after a period of significant introspection and change.
“I would like to make an appeal to South Africa – business, government and the public,” he wrote, asking for recognition of its efforts, patience and the chance to play a positive role in South Africa. “KPMG has nothing to hide,” the letter also said, adding that the firm had cooperated with inquiries and would accept responsibility for its misdeeds.
KPMG has apologised repeatedly for its role in some of South Africa’s largest corruption scandals, which have damaged its reputation being one of the world’s biggest audit firms as it is also facing criticism for its practices in other countries.
Nkuhlu pointed to a number of things the firm had done to regain trust, including appointing a new chief executive and agreeing to repay 47 million rand in fees earned from Gupta companies, but acknowledged this would not happen quickly. “We failed by our own standards and we let the country down,” he wrote.
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