Lack of action from Minister of Finance as Ms John assumes her CEO position at IRBA

Despite concerns raised by OUTA and other civil society organisations, Ms Jenitha John assumed her position as CEO of IRBA on the 1st of June.

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03/06/2020 12:36:44

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Lack of action from Minister of Finance as Ms John assumes her CEO position at IRBA 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) is concerned that Ms Jenitha John assumed her position as CEO of the Independent Regulatory Board of Auditors (IRBA) on Monday 1 June despite concerns the organisation raised directly with the Minister of Finance, Tito Mboweni. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      “OUTA wrote to the minister on 21 May 2020 to express our concern over the fact that Ms John was the head of the Audit and Compliance Committee at Tongaat Hulett over the period that covered the group’s well-publicised financial reporting irregularities. She also served on their board since 2007,” says Wayne Duvenage, OUTA’s CEO. “IRBA is an important oversight institution and requires a CEO and senior managers that are beyond reproach when it comes to conduct and leadership in the auditing world. Ms  John’s appointment – despite her link to the Tongaat Hulett matter - does the institution no favours.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Another serious concern we have raised with the minister, is that IRBA has no board of directors in place, due to the end of the legally allowed period of the chairperson and another board member on 9th May 2020. The inability to have the requisite board appointments for government organisations and SOE’s in place is an ongoing problem in South Africa, and once again - as we see with the IRBA board now missing in action – leads to problems pertaining to executive appointments.  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      OUTA notes Minister Mboweni’s statement of 29 May in which he promised to hold discussions with the IRBA Board of Directors to consider the concerns raised. OUTA trusts that Minister Mboweni will still act with haste and see fit to suspend the appointment of Ms John until this serious issue has been dealt with. 

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      OUTA is a proudly South African civil action organisation, that is purely crowd funded. Our work is supported by ordinary citizens who are passionate about holding government accountable and ensuring our taxes are used to the benefit of all South Africans.