In a statement confirmed by his office, outgoing Auditor-General (AG) of South Africa Kimi Makwetu died in a hospital on Wednesday afternoon after a battle with stage 4 lung cancer.
News24 reports that Makwetu was diagnosed in June 2018.
“We ask the public to keep the family in their thoughts as they come to terms with his passing, and to give them the privacy and space to deal with his passing”, said spokesperson, Africa Boso.
Boso also noted that when the family was ready, they would provide more details of how they would like to honour the late AG.
During his address to the nation on Wednesday night, President Cyril Ramaphosa included his condolences to Makwetu’s family. “Mr Makwetu served this country with dedication, with distinction and with great integrity. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this great time of sorrow.”
Western Cape Premier Alan Winde remembered the robust conversations he used to have with Makwetu, who is also University of Cape Town alum. “Over the years, I have worked closely with the AG. We shared a goal which we both took very seriously; to ensure that government delivers on its commitments to the people and does so in a manner which is trustworthy and corruption-free.
“I thank him from the bottom of my heart. He will be missed by the entire Western Cape government team.”
Cape Town-born Makwetu had worked at a number of companies, namely, Standard Bank, Nampak, Deloitte, Liberty and Metropolitan Life. He also served as Deputy Auditor-General at the Auditor-General of South Africa, says News24.
He was officially appointed the position of Auditor-General of South Africa on 1 December 2013 by former president Jacob Zuma.
News24 states that last month, parliament unanimously approved Tsakani Maluleke as the new AG.
Maluleke, who served as Makwetu’s deputy since 2014, will be the first woman to head the office.