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Makwetu briefs Parly on death threats, intimidation of auditors

Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu says one incident that shocked him was the attack on one of his employees at the Emfuleni Local Municipality in Gauteng.

FILE: Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Auditor-General has briefed Parliament on death threats and intimidation faced by its auditors in various municipalities.

The briefing by Kimi Makwetu follows a number of incidents, including the shooting of an employee at a guesthouse in Vanderbijlpark last month.

Makwetu says one incident that shocked him was the attack on one of his employees at the Emfuleni Local Municipality in Gauteng.

“In the early hours of the morning on that Friday, we encountered intruders in that guesthouse where she was booked as we normally use these facilities from time to time, and so she was shot and had to be admitted to hospital.”

Chairperson of the standing committee on the Auditor-General Nthabiseng Khunou said auditors can’t be intimidated and called for greater action by law enforcement.

“I think that should be the message out there that whatever is happening, has to come to an end and we hope as the police are here, they’re going to give us solutions.”

A NEED FOR POLITICAL WILL & LEADERSHIP TO CURB THREATS

Parliament says there is a need for political will and leadership to curb threats against officials of the office of the Auditor-General.

Makwetu says they’ve been observing the trend since 2016 when it was just confined to the Free State, where some staff were threatened and even bribed.

Other provinces like Kwa Zulu-Natal, the North West and Gauteng are also seeing more such incidents.

“You see many situations of this nature in various provinces, even if it was just statements being made when staff interpreted them, they were uncomfortable with how unsafe the areas in which they audited in where.”

National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole said: “The onus to secure the auditors rests with the institution where they are auditing. So, we need to look at the security measures across all spectrums.”

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)

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