Bernard Agulhas. Picture: MASI LOSI
Bernard Agulhas. Picture: MASI LOSI

The Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (Irba) said on Friday that it had started an investigation into Deloitte SA, after the value of Steinhoff shares collapsed amid an accounting scandal.

The investigation will focus on the 2014 to 2016 financial years, Irba said in a statement, adding that the auditing firm had pledged to co-operate in the investigation process.

Steinhoff has come under immense pressure since it uncovered accounting irregularities, which led to the resignation of its CEO Markus Jooste.

The share price has dropped to record lows, wiping as much as R215bn off its total market value.

Irba CEO Bernard Agulhas said the regulator "would follow due process and the timing will depend on information which will come to our attention once we have established the nature of the alleged irregularities and have had further discussions with the relevant parties".

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba on Friday told reporters in Johannesburg that the regulatory bodies, including the Financial Service Board (FSB), the South African Revenue Service (Sars) and the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (Irba) would collaborate to investigate all the elements surrounding the Steinhoff scandal.

Gigaba said the outcome of the investigation would determine what action would be taken against Steinhoff but was adamant that there was a need to safe guard jobs. “We will take action without fear or favour,” Gigaba said.  

“Certainty is needed.”

The probe has buy in from organisations such as the Manufacturing Circle, Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF), and the Public Investment Corporation (PIC).

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