Picture: GALLO IMAGES/FOTO24/CORNEL VAN HEERDEN
Picture: GALLO IMAGES/FOTO24/CORNEL VAN HEERDEN

THE report into a so-called "rogue" unit at the South African Revenue Service (SARS) leaked to the media was a draft and not final, Trevor Hoole, CEO of KPMG Southern Africa, said on Monday.

Mr Hoole said in a statement that the report compiled by the auditing firm should not have been published as it was bound by confidentiality rules.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan asked SARS commissioner Tom Moyane to halt the leaks to ensure SARS’ stability. The Sunday Times reported that it had a copy of the report.

Mr Hoole also addressed Mr Gordhan’s complaint that KPMG had not sought the views of those allegedly implicated in the operation of the unit, including himself. He said limitations had been placed on KPMG’s assignment, which was "to undertake a documentary review and did not include interviewing individuals named in the report, nor were they given sight of our findings by us. This is not unusual for assignments of this nature."

A number of draft reports had been submitted to SARS, the last one on December 4, he said. "In late December 2015 the Deputy Minister of Finance, Mcebisi Jonas, indicated the report was still a draft and not yet ready for release. This matter is now subject to the client’s internal processes and decision-making.

"Any report, first draft or otherwise, remains exactly that, a draft, until the client confirms to us that all matters have been addressed and that the report has been through the entity’s governance processes and is ready to be issued. A report may well be considered by KPMG to be complete or final but prior to being issued the client needs to notify us that it has been accepted by them. In most instances the board, audit committee, other senior governance body or regulatory authority would sanction the release of such a report, particularly if it were regarded as being potentially sensitive," Mr Hoole said.

Treasury spokeswoman Phumza Macanda indicated on Sunday that the report was still a draft as it had not yet been signed off by the ministry, SARS and the Kroon committee, which has oversight over the tax authority.

Meanwhile, the chairman of Parliament’s standing committee on finance, Yunus Carrim, appealed on Monday for Mr Gordhan and Mr Moyane to be given the space to resolve their differences in terms of the legislation and norms that defined their roles. He said the committee would monitor the progress made.

His comments followed a warning by Democratic Alliance spokesman on finance David Maynier that a "civil war" between the minister and commissioner loomed over the restructuring of SARS and the KPMG report.