Parliament concerned at Auditor General death threats

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Parliament’s Standing Committee on the Auditor-General has condemned threats made against officials in the office of the Auditor General, saying those making the threats should be brought to book.

“We call on law enforcement agencies to fully investigate sources of the threats and bring them to book,” said the chairperson of the committee, Nthabiseng Khunou, on Wednesday.

Auditor General Kimi Makwetu wrote to the committee, detailing a series of threats to the lives of officials of the Auditor General of South Africa (AGSA), who are assigned to the Emfuleni, Tshwane, Madibeng and Moretele municipalities.

Earlier this week, it was reported that Makwetu withdrew a team of officials working in Emfuleni after one of them was shot in the leg at a guesthouse last week.

Khunou said anyone found to be obstructing the work of the AGSA should be criminally charged.

“Parliament, provincial legislatures and municipal councils rely heavily on the audited financial statements by the AGSA in order to effectively hold the executive accountable. An attack on the officials of the AGSA has an indirect negative impact on the work of the legislative sector,” she said.

In May, the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) said the AGSA stopped auditing the books of the eThekwini Metro. It was reported that staff was recalled after receiving death threats.

The committee has appealed to the authorities at the four municipalities to fully cooperate with law enforcement agencies during the investigations.

Khunou said the committee will work closely with the Portfolio Committee on Police as well as the Department Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs to get an update on the progress of the investigations.

The committee is scheduled to invite Makwetu to get a full briefing on the extent to which these threats have impacted on the work of the AGSA and what security measures are put in place to protect the affected employees. –