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Tongaat Hulett revising oversight practices after corruption findings

The board says it is in support of a turnaround strategy on how to deal with the findings of the PWC investigation.

A sugarcane field belonging to the Tongaat Hulett group. Picture: tongaat.com

JOHANNESBURG - Embattled sugar company Tongaat Hulett says it is taking measures to revise its management and oversight practices following revelations that its executives overstated profits for years.

The company released a brief summary of the key findings made in an investigation by PWC that was commissioned six months ago when the allegations about its accounting irregularities surface.

The board says it is in support of a turnaround strategy on how to deal with the findings of the PWC investigation.

The report showed that its executives recognised revenue in earlier reporting periods than it should have, expenses were inappropriately capitalised to assets – resulting in profits being overstated and assets being overstated in financial statements.

The company suspended its listing on the JSE in June stating it could not be sure of the underlying value of its assets when the accounting irregularities were exposed.

Deputy chairman at Sasfin Securities David Shapiro says better safeguards could have been exercised.

“It’s the whole culture of the board, one of the reasons we have an independent board is to ensure a safeguard against these kind of executives.”

The board said it is engaging with the police and the NPA to address the criminal law perspective of the developments, while authorities in Zimbabwe and Mozambique where similar practices took place will be reached out to.