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SA’s Companies and Intellectual Property Commission has laid criminal charges against the local units of audit firm KPMG, management consultants McKinsey and software giant SAP SE.
The cases were opened with the South African Police Service between November and December for contraventions of the country’s Companies Act, the regulator’s spokesperson Tshiamo Zebediela said in an emailed response to questions on Wednesday.
The CIPC “has been looking into these companies since July 2017”, she said.
The CIPC is one of the first local regulators to bring criminal complaints against the companies for their dealings with entities linked to the Gupta family, who are friends of President Jacob Zuma and in business with his son, Duduzane. Zuma and the Guptas have consistently denied any wrongdoing.
It comes as the country’s prosecutors move to freeze assets held by McKinsey and a company linked to the Guptas.
The regulator pushed ahead with criminal charges following the leaking of the trove of emails that last year indicating how the Guptas used their relationships with government ministers and officials to profit from state business, including from power producer Eskom.
“The CIPC engaged with the respective boards of directors of KPMG, McKinsey and SAP regarding the emails that were placed in the public domain,” Zebediela said, “and based on the responses received, took a decision to open criminal cases.”
“No criminal charges have been brought against the firm and KPMG South Africa believes that there is no substance to the allegation,” it said in an emailed response to questions. “We will fully cooperate with any enquiries the police may have.”
Below is a summary of the accusations from the CIPC: