Outgoing Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu had stage four cancer. Picture: Masi Losi/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Outgoing Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu had stage four cancer. Picture: Masi Losi/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Kimi Makwetu remembered as a 'gentle giant in the fight against corruption’

By Siyabonga Mkhwanazi, Baldwin Ndaba Time of article published Nov 12, 2020

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Johannesburg - Business, labour and government continued to pay tribute to outgoing Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu who died on Wednesday.

According to his office, Makwetu, 54, died of stage four cancer. He was diagnosed with lung cancer two years ago.

Business Unity South Africa, Cosatu-affiliated union Nehawu and other political parties on Thursday described Makwetu as a giant who knew his job and pushed for clean governance.

ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina said Makwetu was a selfless leader who wanted to hold those entrusted with the public purse accountable.

“His dedication and patriotism displayed to the South African people even when he was battling illness is a reminder of the values of selflessness that we should all emulate,” said Majodina.

Nehawu general secretary Zola Saphetha said Makwetu had served the country with dedication and commitment.

Saphetha said the fact that he continued to work while diagnosed with stage four lung cancer proves beyond reasonable doubt his commitment to hold accountable those entrusted with power and the public purse saying just recently he was deployed to the United Nations Independent Advisory Committee.

“Nehawu worked with his office while we were dealing with the corruption and fraud that had engulfed the Northern Cape Legislature. His work in exposing the rot that exists in state owwned enterprises, Municipalities and other state entities was phenomenal, however, was let down by our government which lacks teeth in dealing with those responsible for plundering state resources.

“In his honour, we will redouble our efforts in exposing the scourge of corruption wherever it raises its ugly head. We should strive at all material times to promote accountability and transparency on how public resources are utilised.

“Over the years, corruption has robbed many poor and rural communities of much needed service delivery and has subjected our people to a life of abject poverty while looters live lavishly from proceeds of crime,” Saphetha said.

Busa president Sipho Pityana said Makwetu was a gentle giant in the fight against corruption.

“Kimi Makwetu’s piercing mind focussed our attention, not only on the symptoms of this scourge, but its foundation and root causes. His consistent and reliable findings offered clear answers to the questions on what is it that needs to be done to restore our nation to good governance and ethical leadership,” said Pityana.

The IFP also added its voice to tributes paid to Makwetu saying he was a crusader against corruption.

IFP national spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa said Makwetu was the embodiment of the constitution and his work was underpinned by these values.

He said he wanted good governance and pushed for financial controls in public institutions.

Political Bureau

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