ROB ROSE: Deloitte’s R11.8bn pickle
A billion here, a billion there, and suddenly you’re talking real money. How did Tongaat’s auditors get the numbers so wrong?
"As a general lesson in this current environment for individual companies, the problems are usually worse than they first appear," says PSG Asset Management CEO Anet Ahern.
Ahern, an investment veteran who cut her teeth at Allan Gray in 1986, isn’t easily duped. Which is why she wasn’t entirely bewildered when sugar producer Tongaat Hulett revealed this week that its previous set of "audited financial statements" for the year to March 2018 were wrong to the tune of R11.8bn. It’s a staggering sum — nearly three times larger than Tongaat’s early estimate that its accounts were overvalued by up to R4.5bn...