One of the men targeted in the KPMG/Sars ‘rogue unit’ report has publicly slammed the company for its apology and has requested the firm retract the entire report.
Johan van Loggerenberg was one of the executives ousted from the tax collection authority following the release of the report, which KPMG has since apologised for, and formally retracted the key findings of. But that is simply not enough, says Van Loggerenberg, who on Wednesday issued a statement via his lawyers.
In it, he describes how he has been attempting to meaningfully engage KPMG on the report for the last two years, beginning in October 2015. “[I] have found them to be unresponsive, and their communiques (when they did bother to reply) to be dismissive, evasive, inadequate, and displaying scant regard for the laws and rules of the audit profession and the basic human rights of individuals.”
Van Loggerenberg goes on to say that the retraction of the “Summary, conclusions, findings and recommendations” falls far short of the legal and moral obligations to correct the wrongs caused by the report and the process leading up to its publication. Of the litany of flaws, omissions, misstatements of fact, selective inclusions, including allegations that are “illogical, unattributed, unsubstantiated and unsupported by facts” Van Loggerenberg says the report contains, he believes KPMG SA was obliged to disassociate itself from the report in its totality when it was made aware of these issues.
Further, and in light of the attempts KPMG made to apologise for its actions, Van Loggerenberg believes the apologies “are totally inadequate when measured against the immense harm caused to the economy, the country, a key state institution and many innocent individuals, their families and friends – most of whom had no voice to defend themselves throughout the ordeal”.
If the assertions made by Van Loggerenberg and others are true, it must surely pave the way for civil litigation that could potentially result in damage claims that run to millions and tens of millions of rands. The statement concludes with the assertion that Van Loggerenberg is taking legal advice and is considering the most appropriate action to take going forward.
This might just be the beginning of the music KPMG is about to face.