Blantyre: Prudential Holdings Ltd, a minority shareholder in Illovo Sugar Malawi, on Monday paraded its third and last witness in a civil case against the premier sugar company.
Independent accountant and auditor Alexander Kalanda took to the witness box to cross-examined by Senior Counsel Shabir Latif, the lawyer representing ISM in a complex case that began in February 2016.
PHL sued ISM over the 2015 annual financial statement, claiming ISM falsified its accounts to pay its parent company in South Africa through inflated management fees, procurement and sales.
Kalanda, an independent was hired by PHL to review the 2015 statement and gave his opinion faulting the accounts.
Asked by Latif why he was engaged by PHL to act as auditor of ISM, Kalanda said he was asked by his client to ” review” the disputed audit, saying a review and an audit were the same terminologies.
Why did he not use internationally accepted auditing routines to access accounting records, documents and estimates from ISM management in order to make his conclusions, Kalanda said it was ” not necessary” as he used other forms of evidence provided by PHL to base his opinion.
He said it was not necessary to approach ISM directly as required by international audit standards because he had “enough evidence” from PHL.
Latif will continue to cross-examine Kalanda on Tuesday at the Commercial Division of the High Court in Blantyre. Hearing is before Justice John Katsala.
Other witnesses by PHL included Ramesh Savjani, chairman of PHL, and Gordon Tembo, senior partner at international auditing firm KPMG. ISM, part of a grouping of Africa’s biggest sugar company operating in six states, is yet to parade its witnesses to defend itself. Hearing continues Tuesday morning.