We are living in extraordinary times in SA. No day passes without further revelations about the scourges of state capture and corruption that have blighted our country. By some estimates, the cost to the country in recent years may have been as much as R1.5-trillion. As I reach the first anniversary of my joining KPMG SA as chair, this backdrop provides relevant context to understanding the past mistakes of the firm in two particular aspects. The first concerns the phenomenon of state capture itself. Knowing what we have learnt over the past few years, through the bravery of some individuals, investigative journalism, the Gupta e-mail leaks and now through the Zondo commission of inquiry, it all looks very clear. But it was not always clear what was happening at the time. Indeed, the process of state capture evolved slowly, and it took time for our society and institutions to understand the scale of corruption occurring at the heart of government. Most businesses simply lacked the r...

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