The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (Saica) announced in a statement on Tuesday that it has instituted charges of misconduct against former Eskom CFO Anoj Singh.
The charges are as follows:
– he conducted himself in a manner which is discreditable, dishonourable, dishonest, irregular or unworthy, or which is derogatory to the Institute, or brought the profession of accountancy into disrepute; and/or
– he failed to maintain and adhere to the fundamental principles set out in the Saica Professional Code of Conduct for Chartered Accountants, as follows:
Singh failed to disclose to the Eskom Board the true reason for Tegeta’s request of some R600 million from Eskom. He should have known that the information, reports and documentation that he was relying on contained materially false or misleading statements; statements or information furnished recklessly; or omitted and/or obscured essential information. In addition, he made no attempt to disassociate himself from that information.
His professional or business judgment was compromised by bias, conflict of interest, or the undue influence of others. He allowed a relationship bias to unduly influence his professional judgment in performing a professional service.
He disclosed confidential information acquired as a result of professional and business relationships without proper and specific authority to do so. Further, he used confidential information acquired as a result of professional and business relationships to his personal advantage or the advantage of third parties. In addition, he failed to take reasonable steps to ensure that staff under his control, as well as persons from whom advice and assistance was obtained, respected his duty of confidentiality.
He failed to comply with the relevant laws and regulations and conducted himself in a manner that he knew or should have known may discredit the accountancy profession. A reasonable third party would have concluded that this conduct would adversely affect the good reputation of the profession.
Singh has 21 days to respond to Saica under its by-laws. The response will be placed for adjudication before the Professional Conduct Committee. Details of the subsequent disciplinary hearing will be provided to all stakeholders, subject to confirmation with the Professional Conduct Committee.
Not all disciplinary hearings are open to the public, and accused members appearing before the Professional Conduct Committee are not permitted legal representation.
The Professional Conduct Committee has the full power to caution, reprimand, impose a fine of not more than R250 000 per charge, suspend the accused from membership for a period not exceeding 12 months, or refer a formal complaint against the accused to the Disciplinary Committee. Hearings of the Disciplinary Committee are open to the public, unless deemed inappropriate by the Chairman.