Forensic investigation

Are you looking for answers?

Has something gone wrong? Do you need to know why, who, when and how? Do you need an independent perspective?

Corporate crime poses a real and substantial threat to business sustainability: undetected and unchecked, it can create costly long-term problems, regardless of an organisation’s size, geography, industry or scope. 

When you’re facing an investigation, allegation or crisis it’s essential to get to the important facts as quickly as possible. But these events typically come out of the blue, catching the organisation unaware. We are here to support you at every stage, from identifying, extracting and analysing relevant data, to helping you to prevent the same emergency and to understand what happened and why.

Fraud and theft involving anything from intellectual property to inventory, from cybercrime to corruption, can result in widespread difficulties for your organisation. The bottom line will often be affected, but your market reputation and employee morale can also take a hit.


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Two people holding a tablet

Transparency means more investigations

Businesses worldwide are under increasing pressure to demonstrate high ethical standards and meet stakeholder demands for transparency. Investigations, whether mandated by regulators or instigated internally, are on the rise as a result.

A range of diverse events and crises can warrant a thorough investigation, including:

  • Whistleblower reports or tip-offs.
  • Suspected fraud or misconduct.
  • Corporate irregularities.
  • Asset misappropriation. 
  • Regulatory breaches.
  • Improper business relationships or conflicts of interest. 
  • Patent and copyright infringement.
  • Financial reporting fraud.
  • Suspicious transactions. 
  • Bribery and corruption.

Dealing with these events effectively takes time, effort and investment. Allegations must be investigated thoroughly, discreetly and quickly, with the minimum disruption to the business – requiring skills that typically go beyond the capabilities of a business. But we are here to help.

How we can help

Our team of trained investigators includes forensic accountants, lawyers, former law enforcement agents, experts in forensic technology and global intelligence specialists, and we have provided support on many of the highest-profile matters in recent years.

Our investigation teams have extensive experience of working on a wide range of complex investigations in multiple jurisdictions and sectors, including some of the most high-profile ever conducted. We work alongside in-house and external legal teams, carry out internal or regulator-mandated investigations, and frequently support audit teams to help them understand issues that may arise during their work.

Our investigations typically include:

  • The use of cutting-edge technology to extract and clean relevant data from electronic and other sources, including high volumes of transactional data.
  • Innovative data analytical techniques to identify patterns and review documents and other sources.
  • Interviews with targeted personnel.
  • The use of data visualisation techniques to explain what we’ve found, clearly   and concisely.
  • Experienced financial and non-financial investigators with a wide range of skills including bribery and corruption investigators, forensic accountants and intelligence analysts.
  • The involvement of our network of third-party specialists when specific knowledge is required.
  • A  report for the stakeholders or regulators, if necessary. 
  • In addition and where necessary, we are able to provide expert testimony in criminal, civil or disciplinary proceedings.

We help you to manage threats strategically to protect your reputation and value.


Case studies

Procurement fraud and corruption investigation

We assisted our client, a large public sector entity, and its external legal counsel in its internal investigations into allegations of procurement fraud and corruption. Our work involved conducting a forensic investigation of the procurement process followed and identifying payments to numerous service providers, using multiple sources of structured and unstructured data, including banking data, accounting information, and hard copy records. We also supported the relevant authorities with the criminal prosecution and supported the disciplinary action taken against the implicated employees.

Putting bad news into context

A global group suspected a significant accounting misstatement. The discovery sparked a crisis and an immediate tumble in the company’s share price. Our team of forensic accountants, investigators, data analytics specialists and financial controls experts used in-house technology and cutting-edge financial investigation tools to mine a huge amount of data in a short space of time, allowing us to identify relevant themes in the transactions. As a result, the issues identified were reported to stakeholders, errors could be corrected and confidence rebuilt with its stakeholders.


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We solve important problems for our clients by:


Establish the key facts of any given situation and deliver findings and evidence in a manner that allows the implementation of recovery, litigation and remedial action. We help you to manage the interests of third parties, whether they are customers or suppliers, regulators or law enforcement agencies.



Understand the facts in context. By drawing upon our deep technical and industry knowledge we can quantify potential issues, help you consider the wider implications of any misappropriation, theft or financial crime and provide practical support and advice in developing a strategic response.



Any stakeholder to the business may have an interest in the outcome of an investigation. Whether dealing with law enforcement agencies, regulators or other parties we can assist in managing your position, the preparation of your case and testimony in civil, disciplinary or court proceedings. Should remediation be required, we bring expertise from across our firm to assist in changing and strengthening processes and controls.


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Contact us

Trevor Hills

Trevor Hills

Partner, PwC South Africa

Tel: +27 (0) 11 797 5526

Trevor White

Trevor White

Partner , PwC South Africa

Tel: +27 (0) 31 271 2020

Gerhard Geldenhuys

Gerhard Geldenhuys

Partner, PwC South Africa

Tel: +27 (0) 18 386 4720

Pontso Nyathi

Pontso Nyathi

Partner, PwC South Africa

Tel: +27 (0) 11 797 5383

Wayne Thuynsma

Wayne Thuynsma

Associate Director, PwC South Africa

Tel: +27 (0) 21 529 2266

Gerard Sutton

Gerard Sutton

Principal, PwC South Africa

Tel: +27 (0) 41 391 4422