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A top forensic investigator, Lawrence Moepi, 41, was gunned down in the parking lot of his auditing firm in Joburg on Friday.
Police have launched a manhunt for four suspects after the director of forensic services of SizweNtsalubaGobodo auditing firm was killed.
The murder had many speculating on social media that Moepi was killed in a hit.
The forensic investigator has been involved in many high-profile cases - including the fraud and corruption case of former elite Scorpions unit official Geophrey Ledwaba.
The case involved the payment of thousands of rand to phantom informants for whistle-blowing on non-existent crimes.
Moepi’s report showed how the Scorpions’ “confidential fund” was vulnerable to looting by the unit’s own staff.
He was also the curator in the Constantia Sectional Title Managers (CSTM) fraud case. CSTM was the managing agent for about 450 bodies corporate of residential complexes in Gauteng. It was alleged that R20 million had gone missing from the organisation.
Moepi has also been appointed by the auditor-general to be part of the team investigating the strategic arms procurement packages (the arms deals).
Moepi was shot and killed in his luxury sedan between 9am and 10am in the parking lot at the firm’s offices in Houghton.
SAPS spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said it was believed that Moepi had been followed by two men in a VW Golf yesterday morning.
They had shot Moepi as he was getting out of his car, and fled.
Police were still trying to establish a motive for the killing, but could confirm that nothing was taken.
Police launched a search for four suspects yesterday.
Moepi, who had previously worked at auditing firm PwC, had served as an expert witness in a number of fraud matters.
The firm also remained mum yesterday about a possible motive for the murder.
A spokesperson for the firm said media reports suggesting that it was a hit remained “speculation” at this stage.
SizweNtsalubaGobodo said in a statement the matter was under police investigation and it would support them in the ongoing investigation.
Nonkululeko Gobodo, executive chairwoman of SizweNtsalubaGobodo, said the firm and its staff were shocked and extremely saddened by the news.
“Lawrence was an inspirational leader, and his insight, wisdom and talent will be sorely missed.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family during this extremely difficult time,” she said.
“A good man has died today. A man who shouldn’t have died. A man who was just doing his job.”
Moepi had more than 14 years’ experience, nine of which were in forensic accounting and investigations.
His expertise is listed on the firm’s website as including testifying in court and internal disciplinary proceedings as an expert witness on forensic accounting and investigation.
While working at PricewaterhouseCoopers, he was responsible for forensic projects in Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.
He was an engagement partner on numerous fraud investigations for public and private sector clients.
He joined SizweNtsalubaGobodo in April 2010 to lead the forensic services practice.
Moepi is survived by his wife and two children. - Saturday Star
Update: In previous articles on this matter IOL used a photograph sourced by the Saturday Star. The photgraph, sourced from the website of SizweNtsalubaGobodo, was identified as Lawrence Moepi. This is incorrect. The photograph was in fact a stock photo of Abonga Nkwelo who is not associated with the company. We apologise for this error.