Thursday, 12 November 2020

Pretoria: Fallen outgoing Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu has been celebrated as a dedicated man of integrity who served the country with distinction.

Makwetu, who was seeing out the final two weeks of his seven-year tenure, yesterday succumbed to a two-year battle with lung cancer. The news of his passing was confirmed by his office, saying he passed away in hospital.

He was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in June 2018.

“As the national audit office, we join the Makwetu family in mourning his death. We ask the public to keep the family in their thoughts as they come to terms with his passing, and to give them the privacy and space to deal with his passing,” said the office.

In the statement, the office said the family will share details of how they would like to honour their beloved husband and father when they are ready.

Addressing the country on Wednesday, President Cyril Ramaphosa expressed deep sadness at Makwetu’s passing.

“During his term as Auditor-General, Mr Makwetu served his country with dedication, with distinction and with integrity. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time of great sorrow,” he said.

Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) Chairperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa was at a loss for words on Twitter. “Words completely [and] utterly fail me. This is not the farewell we had envisaged. We have lost a patriot who was professional par excellence & diligent in the execution of his work. He did justice to the trust we placed in him as a Head of a Chapter 9 Institution,” he wrote.

In a statement, the Standing Committee on the Auditor-General (AG) also expressed sadness at Makwetu’s passing.

“The committee wishes to pass its heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Mr. Makwetu at this difficult time. The committee will forever be grateful for the impeccable work ethic, professionalism and integrity that he displayed when he conducted his work.

“The committee also appreciates the respect he displayed whenever he appeared before the committee,” reads the statement, adding that it will keep the family in its thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.