The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (Saica) confirmed in a press release Wednesday (January 5th) that it will investigate all members involved in the Zondo Commission’s report on the state’s capture.
It should be noted that Saica has different membership categories: Chartered Accountant CA (SA), Chief Accountant AGA (SA) and Accounting Technician AT (SA).
On 4 January, the Presidency published Part 1 of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into allegations of state capture, corruption and fraud in the public sector, including state authorities (Zondo Commission Report).
Saica “notes the recommendations contained in the report [paragraph 1116] regarding Saica member and former SAA board member Ms. Yakhe Kwinana who appeared before the Zondo Commission of Inquiry ”.
The institute confirmed that it has launched an investigation into the allegations against Quinana following media reports that followed her appearance before the Zondo Commission in November 2020.
In Saich’s revised bylaws, which came into force on June 1, 2020, Kwinana was given the opportunity to present the organization.
Saica said she had not received any response from Quinana and that she was unable to comment further on the ongoing investigation at this stage.
“The profession of chartered accountant is going through a period of deep reflection that includes debates on how to maintain professional independence, as evidenced by Saica’s recent revisions to the Institute’s statutes that include improvements to the disciplinary process. What we can all agree on is that adhering to the highest standards of ethical conduct, professional integrity and avoiding conflicts of interest must remain the foundation of the accounting profession, ”Saice CEO Freeman Nomvalo said in a statement.
“Saica expects all its members to adhere to these values in all professional circumstances. All members found to have violated the Saich Code of Professional Conduct [the Code], will be held accountable without fear or favor, including all members mentioned in the comprehensive report of the Zondo Commission when all three parts are published, ”Nomvalo added.
Saica emphasized that he will take all accusations against certain members seriously and that he is currently investigating this issue. The initial phase of the investigation, in which Saica gathers factual evidence, testimonies and conducts relevant due diligence, is confidential.
“In the interests of procedural fairness and as required by Saica’s bylaws, Saica may not comment publicly, either in traditional media or on social media, on any member under investigation at this stage, unless otherwise provided by bylaws.” it is stated.
“This protects the reputation of the individual members involved [who may well be innocent] and also protects third parties who may be mentioned in the complaint but who do not have the opportunity, such as non-members of the Saica, to argue during the Institute’s disciplinary process. ”
Saica confirmed that, once the investigation is complete and there is sufficient evidence to suggest that a member may have violated the Code, that member will be charged under the relevant part of the Code.
When a member is charged, and if the Saic CEO deems it appropriate, the process will become public.
Saica statutes provide a member with the opportunity to then appear before an independent committee (either a professional conduct committee or a disciplinary committee) chaired by a senior lawyer, usually a lawyer or a retired judge.
“All cases before the disciplinary commission are open to the public unless the independent chairman determines that there are extraordinary circumstances that require the case to be heard indoors. [private]. The findings of these commissions are also published where there is guilt “, the institute notes.
Details on past cases, findings and pending hearings can be found by clicking on the following link: https://www.saica.org.za/about/general/governance-structure-and-disciplinary-process