Back in 2014, African Bank Investments Limited imploded after its banking arm, African Bank, was placed in curatorship thanks to a mountain of bad debt. Its share price tumbled from R28 to just 31c before it was suspended on the JSE; more than 14,000 of its shareholders lost about R2bn in market value on their shares; and, according to the Myburgh report commissioned by the Reserve Bank, four asset managers that were major shareholders lost more than R9.1bn, while their clients lost about R1.5bn in dividends. Five years on, the disciplinary hearing against the two Deloitte partners responsible for signing off on the bank’s audits is dragging into yet another year — and the outcome is likely to be finalised only next year. It’s been a process marked by delays, finger-pointing and, it would seem, an underestimation of the time and effort required to put this to bed. The Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (Irba) started its investigation of the auditing firm — the largest case I...

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