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Saica charges former Eskom CFO Anoj Singh with misconduct

Anoj Singh has been implicated in a number of dodgy deals involving the Gupta family.

FILE: Anoj Singh. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants’ (Saica) has announced that after an extensive investigation, former Eskom CFO Anoj Singh will face charges of misconduct.

The institute says Singh will a face disciplinary hearing as he failed to adhere to the fundamental principles in the professional code of conduct for chartered accountants.

Singh has been implicated in a number of dodgy deals involving the Gupta family.

Saica has labelled Singh's conduct as "dishonest, irregular and unworthy" which it says is derogatory to the institute and brings the profession of accountancy into disrepute.

Following a lengthy investigation, the institute says Singh failed to disclose to the Eskom board the true reason for Gupta-owned Tegeta's request for a R600 million pre-payment from the power utility.

Singh has also been accused of compromising his professional or business judgment because of bias, conflict of interest or the undue influence of others.

Singh has been associated with the Guptas for some time, and he was suspended from Eskom last year. He then resigned in January.

According to the institute's by-laws, Singh has 21 days to respond to the charges against him.

Read the full Saica statement below:

The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants’ (SAICA) By-Laws permit the issuing of public statements by the SAICA chief executive officer (CEO) regarding the institution of any complaint or investigation or action against a member once a draft charge sheet or a charge sheet has been issued to such member and such matter, complaint, investigation or action is, in the opinion of the CEO, in the public interest. SAICA hereby informs stakeholders and the public that, after an extensive period of investigation, charges of misconduct have been preferred against Mr. Anoj Singh.

Mr. Anoj Singh is charged as follows:

  • that he conducted himself in a manner which, in the opinion of the Professional Conduct Committee or the Disciplinary Committee, is discreditable, dishonourable, dishonest, irregular or unworthy, or which is derogatory to the Institute, or tends to bring the profession of accountancy into disrepute; and/or

  • that he failed to maintain and adhere to the fundamental principles in the SAICA Professional Code of Conduct for Chartered Accountants, in contravention of:

Integrity
Mr. Anoj Singh failed to disclose to the Eskom Board of Directors the true reason for Tegeta's request of some R600 million from Eskom. Mr. Anoj Singh was knowingly associated with reports, returns, communications or other information where he knew or believed, or ought reasonably to have known, that the information:

  • contained a materially false or misleading statements

  • contained statements or information furnished recklessly; or

  • omitted or obscured information required to be included where such omission or obscurity would be misleading.

After Mr. Singh became aware that he was associated with such information, he failed to take steps to be disassociated from that information.

Objectivity
- Mr. Anoj Singh compromised his professional or business judgment because of bias, conflict of interest or the undue influence of others.

  • Mr. Anoj Singh performed a professional service where a relationship bias unduly influenced his professional judgment with respect to that service.

Confidentiality
Mr. Anoj Singh:

  • disclosed confidential information acquired as a result of professional and business relationships without proper and specific authority to do so;

  • used confidential information acquired as a result of professional and business relationships to his personal advantage or the advantage of third parties; and

  • failed to take reasonable steps to ensure that staff under his control and persons from whom advice and assistance is obtained respected his duty of confidentiality.

Professional behaviour
Mr. Anoj Singh failed to comply with relevant laws and regulations and to avoid any conduct that he knew or should have known may discredit the accountancy profession. This includes conduct that a reasonable third party, weighing all the specific facts and circumstances available to him at that time, would be likely to conclude adversely affects the good reputation of the profession.

In terms of the SAICA By-Laws, Mr. Anoj Singh has 21 (twenty-one) days to respond to SAICA with a response to the charges referred to above. Once his response to the charges is received, the SAICA secretariat will review the response and table the matter for adjudication before the Professional Conduct Committee. Details of the subsequent disciplinary hearing will be provided to all stakeholders once such details have been confirmed with the relevant Professional Conduct Committee chairperson and panel.

All disciplinary hearings of the Professional Conduct Committee are not open to the public. Accused members appearing before the Professional Conduct Committee are not permitted legal representation. If on receipt of the accused member’s explanation (in response to the charges) the Professional Conduct Committee is not satisfied with such explanation or if no explanation is forthcoming, the Professional Conduct Committee shall have the full power to caution, reprimand, impose a fine of not more than R250 000 per charge, suspend the accused from membership for a period not exceeding 12 months or refer a formal complaint against the accused to the Disciplinary Committee. Hearings of the Disciplinary Committee are open to the public unless the Chairman of the committee find it inappropriate to do so.