There was not an ANC member of parliament in sight when the standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) kicked off its hearings into the KPMG debacle on Thursday morning.
The blows to KPMG’s business have been unrelenting since it withdrew a report on a so-called rogue unit at the SA Revenue Service (SARS).
The firm is also being investigated by the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) over audit and advisory work it did for Gupta-owned company Oakbay.
When the committee got together for the hearing‚ only four MPs‚ other than the committee chair‚ could be seen seated in the committee room.
Democratic Alliance committee members Tim Brauteseth and David Ross arrived on time for the meeting. David Maynier of the standing committee on finance also sat in on the hearing. Auditor General Kimi Makwetu was also in attendance.
Ntombovuyo Mente‚ a committee member for the Economic Freedom Fighters‚ arrived minutes before the hearing began. However‚ 30 minutes into the hearing itself‚ no committee member for the ANC had shown up.
Scopa chairman Themba Godi welcomed the KPMG delegation‚ led by newly appointed KPMG SA CEO Nhlamu Dlomu and asked that they reflect on questions the committee sent them honestly and account to parliament openly.
“We had chosen to invite you because we believed it was in your own interest for you to use a public platform like this to reassure people that there is still reason for KPMG to engage with the public‚” Godi said.
Godi also urged KPMG to take the opportunity to clarify matters and ease fears that the recent scandals have compromised other work done by the firm.
“On Monday‚ it’s the last day for annual reports to be submitted. The critical question is what our attitude should be towards your work‚ if there is any anxiety around whether your work is the kind of work we can utilise with no hesitation‚” he said.
Scopa member for the ANC Nyami Booi had to apologise for attending a recent briefing by SARS on the KPMG report‚ as his presence gave the impression that parliament was partisan and that the revenue service was being run from parliament.