Gupta-Linked Auditor Nkonki Winds Up After Loss of Public Work

(Bloomberg) -- South African audit firm Nkonki Inc. applied for voluntary liquidation a week after the auditor-general ended its contract following reports that a management buyout led by former Chief Executive Officer Mitesh Patel was funded by an associate of the Gupta family.

Damage to the Nkonki brand and uncertainty over future revenue streams had “greatly influenced” the decision, the Johannesburg-based auditor said in an emailed statement. The decision will affect 180 employees who had no involvement or knowledge in any shareholder transactions, it said.

South Africa’s Auditor-General terminated its contract with Nkonki last week. It also dropped KPMG LLP’s local unit after the accounting firm became engulfed in a series of scandals, including signing off on the accounts of a failed local bank.

Patel resigned in April following reports by investigative journalism unit amaBhungane that Gupta associate Salim Essa had funded his management buyout. The Guptas, who were associates of former President Jacob Zuma, have been accused of using political connections to win state contracts. They deny wrongdoing.

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