Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu's death a big loss for South Africa

His legacy should inspire us to keep fighting against corruption and tax waste

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12/11/2020 12:29:02

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu's death a big loss for South Africa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A man committed to serving his country with integrity, right up to the last few days of his life. That is how the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) will remember the outgoing auditor-general, Kimi Makwetu, who died less than three weeks before the end of his term.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    “We salute Kimi Makwetu as a fearless man who drove accountability and raised the bar on the standards of auditing in South Africa during his thirteen years of leadership at the Auditor-General ,” said Wayne Duvenage, OUTA’s CEO. “His integrity and hard work was highlighted even more when one takes into account that he served as AG during an era when private auditing firms and the audit profession came under fire for the role they played during State Capture.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Makwetu first served as deputy auditor-general, before being appointed as the Auditor General in December 2013, and was recently appointed to the UN Independent Audit Advisory Committee. His passion, dedication and integrity was evident in the quality and direct approach he took in exposing the maladministration and poor management of state funds through competent non-nonsense audit reports on all levels of Government.  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Under his leadership, the AG’s office improved in its reporting year on year, placing emphasis on exposure and the necessary measures required to prevent wasteful expenditure, including his participation in amending the Public Audit Act, which gave the AG’s office more powers to hold transgressors to account.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The late AG was also not afraid of speaking truth to power, and his views on corruption did not endear him to corrupt government and municipal officials.  He kept to the promise he made in May 2007 at the start of his term when he said that he doesn’t want to be “on the touchline” while the country’s history “is being developed and rewritten,” but that he wants to be part of the team. “This position will enable me to be on the field as a player.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Civil society will remember Makwetu as somebody who was always willing to engage with organisations who fought corruption, said Duvenage. Earlier this year, Makwetu participated in OUTA’s webinar on fixing municipalities (watch here) “Ordinary South Africans can honour Makwetu’s legacy by continuing the fight against government corruption with his attitude of no fear or favour.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    OUTA’s sincere condolences goes to Makwetu’s wife, three children and his colleagues at the Auditor-General of SA.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Picture: Flickr_GovernmentZA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    OUTA is a proudly South African civil action organisation, that is purely crowd funded. Our work is supported by ordinary citizens who are passionate about holding government accountable and ensuring our taxes are used to the benefit of all South Africans.