Speakers & Sessions

Conference Day One: Tuesday 5 November
4.15 pm-5.15 pm

Day One Closing Keynote Speaker

Prof. Houdini Fourie

Professor, Nelson Mandela University, South Africa

Prof. Fourie joined the Nelson Mandela (Metropolitan) University in July 2008 after serving more than 17 years at Tshwane University of Technology. Houdini holds the position of Professor of Internal Auditing in the Department of Applied Accounting.

Houdini obtained a Doctor of Commerce (D Com) degree in Internal Auditing from the University of Pretoria in September 2014. In addition, he is a Professional Accountant (South Africa).

Houdini has an extensive academic research profile, being one of four individuals in the auditing discipline in South Africa to possess a National Research Foundation (NRF) rating. He published on topics that relate to corporate governance, Internal Auditing, public sector Internal Auditing, accounting education and work-readiness skills of entering Internal Auditors. More than 20 articles are published in academic journals and several papers were read at both International and National conferences.

Houdini served on the Accreditation Committee of the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA); and on the Examination Board of the South African Institute of Government Auditors; and served on the Board of Directors of the Institute of Internal Auditors (South Africa) (IIA-SA) from 2000 to 2004 and held the position as Regional Governor for the Port Elizabeth Region of the IIA-SA since 2009 up to 2013.

Session Topic:

Ethics, Cultures, Fraud and Corruption – The Unanswered Questions

Fraud and corruption in South Africa is rife and it seems that the average person has no control over what comes next. Considering the impacts of peoples’ background, social standing and culture, the paper considered the psychological processes through which learning of habits and mannerisms take place; and how it influences ethical behaviour. Valuable lessons are learnt, namely that culture, whether it being ethnical, organisational, family or religious, have a direct impact on a person’s ethical value system and subsequently on whether a person is inclined to partake in fraud and corrupt activities.

Fraud and corruption can cripple and destroy organisations and its auditors. Fraud and corruption are costly. The paper reports that it is ultimately the responsibility of executive management to manage fraud and associated risks – management must set the “Tone at the Top”. Managing ethics is costly, but ignoring it is fatal.

The question is apparently not whether fraud will occur in organisations, but rather when and that everybody must insist on doing the right thing – for the greater good. 

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