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KPMG statement – Fidelis Moema

Ignatius Sehoole, CEO of KPMG South Africa

KPMG South Africa played an integral part leading to the arrest of former employee, Fidelis Moema, following the firm identifying potential fraud committed against the firm.

Mr. Moema was dismissed as an employee of KPMG on 11 November 2022, following a stringent disciplinary process related to non-compliance with firm policies. Subsequent to his dismissal, KPMG identified potential fraud committed by Mr. Moema and immediately initiated an internal forensic investigation. This investigation uncovered fraudulent behaviour related to bursary funds and as a result, we reported the matter to the relevant law enforcement authorities in February 2023. We continue to work closely with the authorities to bring this matter to a close.

While KPMG had internal controls in place to mitigate such issues, the forensic investigation performed identified improvements and additional measures of control have been implemented since discovery of this issue.

With regards to the bursaries, all monies misappropriated was through an elaborate scheme of fictitious accounts, over-riding of internal controls and deliberate collusion with external parties.

KPMG’s approved bursars have not been impacted, the firm has honoured all its commitments, and the bursary programme will continue to support students in enhancing the profession. The most disappointing aspect of this situation is the lost opportunity to assist additional students.

The South African fraud landscape is at an all-time high, a risk faced by all businesses and like all businesses we have to constantly reinvent and implement additional controls to adjust to the ever changing, volatile fraud landscape we are faced with. The forensic investigation identified collusion by Mr. Moema with external parties but did not identify others within KPMG involved in the scheme. We have a team of highly skilled, ethical and professional people working in our firm, and this is not affected as a result of this case.

As a business that is committed to ensuring ethical business practice and holding people accountable for their actions, we will continue to work with the law enforcement authorities to ensure the perpetrator is brought to book and held accountable for his actions.

I have stated recently that KPMG takes a zero-tolerance approach to unethical behaviour and any person found to be involved in it will be dealt with. I remain firm in this endeavour and as a firm we continue to drive an agenda underpinned by ethics and accountability.

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