Anoj Singh. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON
Anoj Singh. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON

The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants has laid charges of misconduct against former Eskom chief financial officer Anoj Singh, who allegedly played a pivotal role in the looting of Eskom by the Gupta family and their associates.

The charges follow an extensive period of investigation undertaken by Saica, which regulates accountants.

The charges allege that Singh failed to comply with relevant laws and regulations, and failed to avoid conduct he knew or should have known might discredit the accountancy profession.

This includes conduct that a reasonable third party was likely to conclude adversely affected the good reputation of the profession.

In terms of the Saica rules Singh has 21 days to respond to the charges, after which the matter will be tabled for adjudication before its professional conduct committee.

The committee has the power to caution, reprimand, impose a fine of up to R250,000 per charge, suspend the accused from membership of Saica for up to a year, or refer a formal complaint against the accused to the disciplinary committee.

Singh is charged with having conducted himself in a manner which is “discreditable, dishonourable, dishonest, irregular or unworthy”, or which is derogatory to Saica or brings the profession of accountancy into disrepute; and/or that he failed to maintain and adhere to the fundamental principles in the Saica professional code of conduct for chartered accountants.

The charges allege that Singh failed to disclose to the Eskom board of directors the true reason for the request by the Gupta-owned Tegeta Exploration & Resources for about R600m from Eskom.

Saica claims Singh compromised his professional or business judgment because of bias, conflict of interest or the undue influence of others. He performed a professional service where his professional judgment was unduly influenced by this bias.

The charges also alleged that Singh was knowingly associated with information which he knew or ought reasonably to have known contained materially false or misleading statements; contained statements or information furnished recklessly; or omitted or obscured information that was required to be included where such omission or obscurity would be misleading.

After he became aware that he was associated with such information, he failed to take steps to be disassociated from that information.

With regard to confidentiality, Singh allegedly disclosed confidential information acquired as a result of professional and business relationships without proper and specific authority to do so; used confidential information acquired as a result of his professional and business relationships to his personal advantage or the advantage of third parties; and failed to take reasonable steps to ensure that staff under his control and persons from whom advice and assistance was obtained respected the duty of confidentiality.