The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (Saica) on Tuesday said that it would investigate two of its members implicated in “alleged improper conduct” related to the Steinhoff accounting fraud saga, reports African News Agency.
In heated discussions on the matter among various parliamentary committees on Tuesday, eight individuals were implicated in the massive fraud after the company declined last week to mention the names of those implicated.
In a statement Saica said that two of its members, Markus Jooste and Andries Benjamin (Ben) la Grange, were among those mentioned during the parliamentary session and that as such, they fall under the institute’s jurisdiction.
“SAICA investigates all instances of alleged improper conduct by members, including member involvement in unethical business practices, which are in contravention of the SAICA Code of Professional Conduct (SAICA Code),” the institute said in a statement on Tuesday.
“SAICA takes matters like these seriously and would like to reiterate that any SAICA member found to have contravened the SAICA Code will be held accountable.”
The institute said its code of conduct applied to all member chartered accountants, not accounting or consultancy firms, but that the institute did not have powers of search and seizure and therefore relied on the finding of external prosecutorial authorities that would form part of their disciplinary processes.
“SAICA is working to restore trust in the profession and ensure that our members, irrespective of the roles they happen to occupy, operate in the public interest. For this reason, we will leave no stone unturned in our quest to ensure that any CA (SA) who is found to have transgressed the SAICA Code is dealt with appropriately,” Freeman Nomvalo, SAICA’s Chief Executive Officer said in the statement.
“SAICA members who fail to uphold the highest ethical and professional standards compromise our public and private sector institutions and our economy as a whole.”