There are three types of auditors, according to a local variant of the well-worn joke: those who’ve had the bad luck to be caught in an accounting scandal, and those who haven’t. It’s something to keep in mind, given the disturbing events at the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (Irba) — the watchdog mandated to tackle just these auditing failures.

Since 2008, Irba has been headed by Bernard Agulhas, who did not endear himself to audit firms by implementing "audit firm rotation" — a rule that requires companies to swap auditors every 10 years to ensure they remain properly independent. But Agulhas’s contract ends this month, and Irba’s board opted not to keep him...

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