Johan van der Walt walking outside the Durban High Court with a member of the prosecution team. Picture: Mujahid Safodien
Johan van der Walt walking outside the Durban High Court with a member of the prosecution team. Picture: Mujahid Safodien

Top witness and forensic report author in Jacob Zuma corruption trial dies

By Tarryn-Leigh Solomons Time of article published Aug 15, 2021

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Johan van der Walt, the main witness and author of the forensic report in the corruption trial against former president Jacob Zuma, has died.

Reports suggest that Van der Walt, who was the senior managing director of FTI Consulting, died of natural causes in Johannesburg. The exact cause of his death is unknown at this stage.

He has been described as a “bloodhound” auditor. He was a partner and forensic auditor at KPMG before he joined the consulting firm in 2017.

Van der Walt testified in the corruption trial of Schabir Shaik and two former senior Saambou Bank officials, Charles Edwards and Gerhardus De Clercq. The duo were however found not guilty to the 10 counts of fraud, theft and two of contravening the Companies Act, involving R640m.

He was listed as the main witness in Zuma’s corruption trial which is expected to commence in the Pietermaritzburg High Court.

Van der Walt’s employer profile reads that he has conducted investigative work in over 70 countries around the world.

Among others, his work included numerous investigations in East Africa, West Africa, Central Africa, South Africa, Lusophone countries, Europe (including Jersey, Guernsey and the British Virgin Islands), the Middle East, the far East and South East Asia in matters (criminal and civil litigation). These matters included the Mining, Energy, Financial Services, Logistics Services, Telecommunications, Agriculture, Industrial Services, Construction, Local Government and Public Service sectors; an expert forensic accountant in various high-profile criminal matters where the individuals have been prosecuted and/or are in the process of prosecution; and he conducted the determination of losses suffered by one of the South African major retail groups as a result of an extortion incident.

*This is a developing story.

Political Bureau

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