Once again, the principles, integrity and code of conduct that individuals in positions of influence are expected and required to observe and respect have been called into question. The Association, as a proud constituent of the accounting profession endorses the remedial actions taken by the Deputy Governor of the South African Reserve Bank to launch a full scale investigation into VBS Mutual Bank by appointing reputable individuals, companies, firms to investigate, comment and conclude on the matter in the form of the report mentioned above.
The Association notes the identity of several persons of interest mentioned by name in the report compiled by Advocate Terry Motau SC (assisted by Werksmans Attorneys). It has come to the attention of the Association that members and patrons of the Association have been, in one way or the other, significantly implicated and labelled key players in what is now known as the “great bank heist”. ABASA notes the following:
- The allegations against Mr Phalaphala Avhashoni Ramikosi, a stalwart and Past President of the Association.
- The pivotal roles played by KPMG ; a long standing corporate sponsor and patron of ABASA and that of the VBS audit engagement partner Mr Sipho Malaba.
- Other Chartered accountants, accountants and auditors accused of initiating and/or perpetuating fraudulent activity within VBS Mutual Bank.
As an Association, we wish to firstly convey our dismay at the alleged involvement of several individuals in what has led to the collapse of what should have been a flagship business, opening channels for other black executives and entrepreneurs to enter the banking industry amongst other factors. We, therefore, support the decision of the Hawks and NPA to initiate a full-scale criminal investigation against any individual based on the report mentioned above and we contend that any individual found guilty of corrupt activity be prosecuted to the full extent and might of the law.
We welcome and support the decision announced by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) to initiate disciplinary action against 8 of its members implicated in the alleged looting of VBS Mutual Bank.
Guided by the outcomes of such investigations, ABASA will give commentary on the membership status of its members implicated in the report.