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PwC auditor grilled over SAA’s audit reports at Zondo inquiry

Pule Mothibe signed off SAA’s audit reports that did not show irregularities at the airline, even though internal auditors and the media were already reporting on this.

A YouTube screengrab of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) auditor Pule Mothibe giving testimony at the Zondo Commission on 17 July 2020.

JOHANNESBURG - PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) auditor Pule Mothibe on Friday told the state capture commission of inquiry that he believed the firm’s opinion that there was no governance non-compliance at South African Airways (SAA) was inaccurate.

Mothibe signed off SAA’s audit reports that did not show irregularities at the airline even though internal auditors and the media were already reporting on this.

The commission’s evidence leader advocate Kate Hofmeyer questioned Mothibe about reportable irregularities.

Mothibe was asked why PwC did not flag a transaction that paid Swissport R1.1 billion without a contract as irregular.

He said an internal audit report a month later flagged this.

“If it had been available earlier we would not have missed it, and we would have reported it under non-compliance with laws and regulations,” Mothibe said.

But he agreed that PwC failed to report non-compliance by the SAA board when the airline implemented a procurement policy that set aside 30% of procurement for black businesses.

Mothibe also conceded that PwC failed in its duty to report non-compliance at SAA.

Advocate Hofmeyer asked him: “That’s a false impression of the state of compliance with legislation and internal controls at SAA, do they not?”

Mothibe said in response: “What we disclosed was inaccurate chair.”

WATCH: State capture inquiry proceedings

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