Science

KPMG chiefs in South Africa quit amid Bell Pottinger scandal

KPMG chiefs in South Africa quit amid Bell Pottinger scandal

KPMG is also seeking to take disciplinary action to dismiss Jacques Wessels, the lead partner on audits of Gupta-linked firms, it said.

"This has been a painful period and the firm has fallen short of the standards we set for ourselves, and that the public rightly expects from us", said Nhlamu Dlomu, who has been promoted internally to succeed Hoole.

KPMG said it would donate the 40m rand (£2.21m) it earned in fees from Gupta-controlled firms to charity and refund 23m rand it earned compiling a controversial report for the South African tax service.

The firm's worldwide network launched an internal investigation after leaked emails showed a Gupta-owned company, Linkway trading had used laundered money from the state to pay for a family wedding.

Also leaving the firm are: Mike Oddy, head of audit; Muhammad Saloojee, head of tax; Herman de Beer, former head of forensic; John Geel, head of advisory; and Mickey Bove, risk management partner for deal advisory.

Gordhan previously slammed KPMG for the report.

He said they would explain shortly how the money would be paid over to society. "One thing I would like to request from you is to stop reporting on rumours".

Leaked emails have revealed how the firm allegedly turned a blind eye to taxpayer funds being used to pay for the Gupta's lavish sun city wedding.

Auditing firm KPMG has withdrawn all of its findings and recommendations around its report into the so-called Sars "spy unit".

KPMG's investigation into its work for the Guptas, accused by a public watchdog of improperly influencing government contracts, identified no evidence of crimes or corruption, but found that work done for Gupta family firms "fell considerably short of KPMG's standards", the auditor said in a statement. However, the investigation established that management of many Gupta entities responded misleadingly and inadequately to audit teams' enquiries about the nature of related party relationships and the commercial substance of significant unusual transactions.

The leadership shake-up at KPMG follows the demise of UK-based public relations firm Bell Pottinger, which was placed into administration on Tuesday.

The Guptas, meanwhile, have yet to face charges over allegations of corruption at the country's state-owned companies, in what is called state capture.