PROGRESS IN CRIMINAL CASE AGAINST FORMER TONGAAT EXECUTIVES AND FORMER DELOITTE AUDIT PARTNER IN RELATION TO FRAUD CHARGES
11 February 2022
Tongaat Hulett has been informed by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) that seven individuals, including six former company executives, appeared in the Durban commercial crime court on Thursday 10 February in relation to fraud charges. The seventh individual, Gavin Kruger, was the Deloitte audit partner on the Tongaat Hulett audit and at all times employed by Deloitte. All those charged were granted bail.
Late in 2019, Tongaat laid criminal charges against former executives identified for their role in undesirable accounting practices as a result of the PwC forensic investigations. The charges stem from alleged fraudulent activity which took place between March 2015 and September 2018, which saw the suspects cooperate to backdate land sale agreements. The backdated sale agreements had a significant impact on the Company’s financial results.
The PwC forensic investigations identified that certain senior executives initiated or participated in undesirable accounting practices which resulted in the company’s profits being overstated over a number of years. This led to the loss of value to our shareholders and many of our other stakeholders.
Additionally, civil proceedings brought by the company against four former executives during 2020 are also underway, and Tongaat Hulett will update on developments in this regard when appropriate.
The former Tongaat Executives who appeared were Peter Staude, Murray Munro, Michael Deighton, Rory Wilkinson, Kamlasagrie Singh and Samantha Shukla.
Tongaat Hulett Company Secretary, Johann van Rooyen said: “Tongaat Hulett welcomes this development in the legal process and it will continue to cooperate with law enforcement authorities whenever required to ensure that those responsible for the historic mismanagement of Tongaat Hulett are held accountable.”
The case was postponed to April 11, when it is expected to resume in the high court.
PwC investigation: https://www.tongaat.com/key-findings-of-pwc-investigation/
Key findings of the PwC investigation: https://www.tongaat.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Key-findings-of-PwC-Investigations-29-Nov-2019.pdf
Civil cases again former Tongaat executives: https://www.tongaat.com/tongaat-hulett-seeks-r450-million-in-civil-claims-against-former-executives/