KPMG. Picture: BLOOMBERG NEWS/TANNEN MAURY
KPMG. Picture: BLOOMBERG NEWS/TANNEN MAURY

Auditing firm KPMG says it will be distributing the R47m it earned in fees from Gupta-related entities to civil society organisations.

KPMG was embroiled in allegations of state capture as a result of the leaked Gupta e-mails, following the resignations of several senior executives. This also saw a number of high-profile clients ending their working relationship with KPMG.

The firm audited, among others, Linkway Trading‚ which allegedly was used to channel R30m of taxpayers’ money to fund the infamous 2013 Sun City Gupta wedding.

KPMG on Monday said it would give the money to organisations that promoted ethical leadership and accountable governance. 

It said R23m was being disbursed to the Democracy Works Foundation (DWF), the Social Justice Initiative (SJI) and the National Business Initiative (NBI).

The other half of the commitment was being distributed to non-profit organisations working in the education sector.

The company said it had shortlisted 52 out of more than 1,000 applications.

The civil society funding comes after a consultative process with the broader civil society.

“The funding is an important step in ensuring redress for the actions of the past,” KPMG executive chair Wiseman Nkuhlu said.

“We appreciate the inputs that civil society organisations have made into this process, and the broader role they are playing in addressing corruption in business and society.”

The process of distributing the money was being overseen by an independent evaluation committee of education experts, civil society and youth leaders, which assessed the applications and was currently conducting due diligence on the shortlisted organisations, KPMG said.

This process should be concluded by mid-December 2018.

In February 2018, KPMG said it had paid back the R23m it received as payment from the SA Revenue Service (Sars) for the report on the so-called “rogue unit”. The firm said it paid the money back on January 29.

When KPMG SA found itself at the centre of state capture allegations in 2017, the firm announced that it was withdrawing all its findings‚ recommendations and conclusions of the Sars report.

It also said it had contacted Sars and offered to repay the R23m fee received for the work it had done or to donate the same amount to charity.

The discredited KPMG report was used to bring charges against public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan, and as the basis for the continued harassment of former Sars officials by the Hawks.

Gordhan and former Sars employees implicated in the rogue unit report — Ivan Pillay, Johann van Loggerenberg, Peter Richer, Yolisa Pikie and Adrian Lackay — have all called on KPMG to scrap the entire report.

None of the former employees have seen the final report, which was released in January 2016, nor were they called to give their side of the story when KPMG started its investigation. A draft report was leaked in 2015.

quintalg@businesslive.co.za