KPMG South Africa says two partners resign after facing disciplinary charges

FILE PHOTO: The KPMG logo is seen at the company's head offices in Parktown, Johannesburg, South Africa, September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - KPMG South Africa said on Saturday two of its partners have resigned after facing disciplinary charges over failure to disclose financial interests in connection to VBS Mutual Bank, which was placed under curatorship.

The company said in a statement partners Sipho Malaba and Dumi Tshuma tendered their resignations on Friday, which have been accepted.

KPMG said the disciplinary charges against Malaba and Tshuma were “connected to VBS bank and include, but are not limited to, failure by the partners to comply with the firm’s policies and procedures regarding the disclosure of relevant financial interests.”

The South African Reserve Bank in March placed small lender VBS under curatorship because of liquidity issues.

KPMG said when VBS went into curatorship, information arose in relation to the partners that prompted the firm to launch an independent investigation. The investigation was ongoing and further action would be taken as appropriate, it said.

“This has been a very disappointing episode for KPMG. There can be no tolerance, however, of any conduct that compromises our reputation and we have moved decisively to deal with the situation,” KPMG South Africa chief executive Nhlamulo Dlomu said.

KPMG did not provide further details. It is one of several international companies facing questions about its work for the Gupta brothers, who have been accused of using their links with former President Jacob Zuma to secure lucrative tenders.

The Guptas and Zuma have denied any wrongdoing, and the accusations are part of judicial inquiry into “state capture”.

A number of companies have said they would drop KPMG as their auditor.

Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo