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Ex-KPMG partner slams SARB's 'fatally tainted' VBS report, heads to court

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Ex-KPMG partner slams SARB's 'fatally tainted' VBS report, heads to court

Photo by Reuters

12th October 2018

By: News24Wire


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Former partner at KPMG Sipho Malaba is expected to launch a court challenge to have the explosive forensic report into the collapse of VBS Mutual Bank, which implicates him in fraud, set aside.

In a further twist, Malaba is expected to be represented by advocate Dali Mpofu SC, who is also the Economic Freedom Fighters' (EFF's) chairperson.

Malaba left KPMG in March this year after it was discovered he had taken numerous loans from VBS which he had not declared to the global auditing firm.

The report, compiled by advocate Terry Motau and Werksmans Attorneys, was released by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) on Wednesday. It found that Malaba had committed fraud in signing off on VBS' financial statements and regulatory reports submitted to the SARB, despite having knowledge that the financial statements misstated the bank's position by nearly R700-million.

If Malaba and KPMG had blown the whistle, the looting could have been stopped much sooner, Motau found.

His report, compiled after a five-month investigation mandated by the SARB, revealed explosive allegations of R2-billion fraud that collapsed the bank.

Motau recommended that Malaba be criminally charged and revealed that VBS had given Malaba "soft" credit facilities totalling nearly R30-million, allegedly in exchange for his rubber stamping of the financial statements.

In a statement released on Thursday night through his Rogers Devachander Attorneys, Malaba slammed the report as "riddled with inaccuracies, hyperbole and unnecessary exhibitionism".

"[This] should have no place in an inquiry whose powers are severely and clearly limited by statute. The report blatantly exceeds its prescribed scope and mandate. More importantly it has completely ignored the evidence presented before it," the statement read.

The attorneys added that the report was "fatally tainted by bias and flawed by a predetermined outcome".

They confirm that Malaba instructed the firm to brief counsel to protect his rights by mounting a court challenge to have the report nullified and set aside.

Mpofu confirmed to News24 that he acted on behalf of Malaba during Motau's investigation.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the EFF reiterated that the individuals responsible for and those who had illegally benefitted from the fraud must be criminally prosecuted immediately.

This was on the back of reports that the younger brother of EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu, Brian Shivambu, was among more than 50 individuals who had received money from the "looting scheme".

The young Shivambu allegedly received R16-million, some of which allegedly flowed to Floyd.

Also in a statement issued on Thursday Shivambu denied any impropriety, saying the funds were for a consulting contract he had with VBS' majority shareholder, Vele Investments.

KPMG meanwhile, has vowed to co-operate with law enforcement investigations in the wake of the report.



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