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Transforming Society

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Media Statement: SAHRC Mourns the Passing of the Auditor-General of South Africa, Thembekile Kimi Makwetu

Attention: Editors and Reporters

Thursday, 12 November 2020

The South African Human Rights Commission (the SAHRC or the Commission) is deeply saddened by the passing of Thembekile Kimi Makwetu, the Auditor-General of South Africa, on Wednesday, the 11th November 2020. His term as Auditor-General of South Africa, commenced on the 1st December 2013 and was to end on the 30th November 2020.
Mr. Makwetu was born in Cape Town, South Africa. In 1989, he graduated with a degree in Social Sciences from the University of Cape Town. After receiving a BCompt Honours degree from the University of Natal in 1997, he became a qualified chartered accountant.

Mr. Makwetu, as Auditor-General, will always be remembered by the SAHRC and the rest of South Africa, as a committed servant of the nation. He is reported as having said, in May 2007, upon his appointment as Deputy Auditor-General, “Being part of the AG will enable me to contribute meaningfully to my country’s development. As a committed South African, I don’t want to be on the touchline while the history of my country is being developed and rewritten, I want to be part of the team. This position will enable me to be on the field as a player…” In the short space of time since then he has proved to be a formidable player and an achiever.

What sets him apart from previous Auditors-General is his highly pronounced commitment to fighting and eradicating corruption and mismanagement of public funds. When his audits repeatedly found mismanagement of state resources, he was driven to successfully push for legislative amendments to ensure that there is consequence management for those involved – a first in the democratic South Africa. As a result of his foresight and tireless efforts, the Public Audit Amendment Act was passed and came into force on the 1st April 2019. Amendments to the Public Audit Act allow for errant officials to be referred to the proper investigative authorities such as the Office of the Public Protector, the South African Police Service or the Special Investigative Unit and to be held to account for their management of public funds. This development provided an indirect but significant boost to the priorities of the South African Human Rights Commission which include a campaign against corruption. He therefore leaves a huge legacy in the struggle for anti-corruption, good governance and accountability.

He and what he stood for will be sorely missed. May his soul rest in eternal peace and may his family and colleagues be comforted and strengthened by the outstanding work he did as Auditor-General.

Issued by the South African Human Rights Commission

Gushwell Brooks – Communications Co-ordinator Tel: 082 645 8573 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The South African Human Rights Commission.

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The Human Rights Commission is the national institution established to support constitutional democracy. It is committed to promote respect for, observance of and protection of human rights for everyone without fear or favour.

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