Parliament condemns threats to Auditor-General

2017-12-01 19:54
Auditor general Kimi Makwetu. (Netwerk24)

Auditor general Kimi Makwetu. (Netwerk24)

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Cape Town – Parliament's Standing Committee on the Auditor General, has strongly condemned threats and intimidation directed at the Auditor General.

"We have recently taken note of a number of instances of intimidation of and threats against staff of the Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA), while they were executing their duties during recent months and, more specifically, during the current audits of municipalities for the 2016/17 financial period," committee chairperson Vincent Smith said in a statement released on Friday.

"The AGSA has already shared with us the specific examples and audit sites where these threats are prevalent."

Smith said the reports came hot on the heels of similar reports raised by Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu in his 2016/17 general report on the accounts of departments and public entities, where he made reference to the contestation of audit findings, as well as cases of personal threats and intimidation affecting his staff.

"As the committee that has been charged by Parliament to, amongst other things, oversee and protect the reputation and functioning of the AGSA, we want to express our shock about these incidents."

He said the AGSA has a Constitutional mandate to audit the accounts of government without fear, favour or prejudice, and to comment on the strength of government’s financial and performance management. 

"For that matter, the Constitution clearly prohibits any person or organ of state from interfering with the functioning of the Auditor-General or his office."

"The independent and strong functioning of the AGSA is a key element of oversight on behalf of and in assurance to the public of South Africa.

Accordingly, this office should be allowed to execute its functions unhindered and with free access to all necessary evidence. 

"We call on everybody involved with public sector audits, political and administrative, as well as people doing business with government, to desist from creating any obstacle to the functioning of the AGSA, and from threatening or intimidating staff of that office."

Read more on:    auditor general  |  kimi makwetu  |  politics

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