Newsome ‘resigns voluntarily’ from duties at IIA SA

The Institute of Internal Auditors South Africa (IIA SA) announced that Rob Newsome has resigned as director and chairperson of the body’s disciplinary committee.

This announcement was made in response to a Moneyweb article about Newsome.

Moneyweb recently reported that Newsome, a chartered accountant, faced a disciplinary hearing at the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (Saica). He was charged with failing to declare a conflict of interest when he earlier presided over the IIA SA’s disciplinary process with regard to the internal audit executive of South African Airways (SAA) Siya Vilakazi.

During the hearing, Newsome denied that there was any real or perceived conflict. He said he discussed the matter briefly with IIA SA CEO Claudelle Von Eck and the fact that the IIA SA retained him as director and disciplinary committee chair showed that they trusted his judgment in the matter.

He also testified that the disciplinary committee dismissed the complaint against Vilakazi on the basis of an affidavit without actually seeing the affidavit at the time of the decision.

The IIA SA said in a statement on Thursday: “The role of internal and external auditors as well as the effectiveness of the professional bodies representing them has been thrust into the spotlight in recent times. This in relation to several scandals and controversies that brought into sharp focus the need for greater accountability, ethical behaviour and general good corporate governance.”

It said it has a mandate to hold its 8 000 members accountable. “However, in dealing with individual cases, we as a professional body need to navigate our way carefully by balancing the interests of three parties which are the complainant, the general public and our member. This so as to protect the integrity of our profession, processes as well as those of our members who do sterling work in ensuring all the key pillars of corporate governance are adhered to.”

It referred to Vilakazi’s case, which it confirmed has been taken on appeal after the body’s investigating and disciplinary committees dismissed for a lack of evidence.

During the Saica hearing, Newsome denied that the complainant Simon Mantell had done anything more than give notice of his intention to appeal.

The IIA SA emphasised that no individual member of the committees has veto power and that declarations of interests are made at the beginning of each meeting.

It says in the statement that Newsome’s role at the disciplinary committee has come into question and refers to the Saica hearing that “does not have anything to do with IIA SA’s own internal processes.

“Judgment in that matter has been reserved but Newsome has now voluntarily resigned from his duties at the IIA SA in the interest of all parties concerned,” the IIA SA states.

Moneyweb earlier reported that Newsome was appointed acting head of risk and compliance at SAA on May 1