The chair of KPMG SA says the company will contribute to reparations for current and former employees of the SA Revenue Service (Sars) who were purged by former commissioner Tom Moyane after the infamous “rogue unit” report authored by KPMG.

KPMG South Africa chairperson Wiseman Nkuhlu has confirmed that the audit firm will pay damages to SARS employees who were affected by the rogue report the company published in 2014.

The audit firm was hired to conduct a forensic investigation into the High-Risk Investigations Unit (HRIU) within the revenue service and the report it produced suggested that the unit was using illegal methods.

This led to the dismissal of dozens of senior SARS employees.

Around 45 people were affected by the report.

The report was later found to be incorrect and KPMG will now pay damages to all those who are said to have been traumatised by the event.

In September 2014, group executive Johan van Loggerenberg, who headed the High Risk Investigative Unit (HRIU), as it was known, was suspended, followed by Deputy Commissioner Ivan Pillay on 5 December 2014.

This decision was later overturned by the Labour Court but Pillay still opted to resign in May 2015.

The suspensions of Pillay and Van Loggerenberg in 2014 were followed shortly afterwards by the exit of SARS strategic planning and risk head, Peter Richer and Pillay’s adviser Yolisa Pikie.

Prior to this, spokesman Adrian Lackay had resigned as well as Clifford Collings, head of the anti-corruption unit.

Nkuhlu confirmed payment of reparations in an interview with Radio 702’s anchor Bongani Bingwa while reflecting on his new book titled Enabler or Victim: KPMG SA and State Capture.

“We were told that a number of people were traumatised by the process of the investigation. In that SARS executives forced them to make statements, so as part of dealing with the report, KPMG should consider reparations,” said Nkuhlu.

“KPMG allowed its brand to be used to justify actions that had already been taken. I felt that they put KPMG at the line of fire which caused damage to KPMG reputation. When you have been a member of a profession for over 40 years and when the profession falls into disrepute, you decide to get involve and help repair its reputation.”

(COMPILED BY INSIDE POLITICS STAFF)

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