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Is it possible the King 4 code has become a danger to investors? Like flags on a beach that let swimmers know it’s safe to go into the water only to discover, when in far enough, that sharks are circling. It’s not just the King code, it’s the auditor-backed accounting system and much more.

Tongaat Hulett is the latest in a string of value-destroying listed companies where everything looked calm and enticing, and all the boxes ticked. How much worse off would investors have been if there was no governance code for the executives to hide behind? Would they have been better off? Would they have exercised greater caution? Looked more closely at the accounts?..

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