Emfuleni municipality auditor shot, team removed

Auditor-general Kimi Makwetu is waiting for law enforcement agencies to handle the matter.
Auditor-general Kimi Makwetu is waiting for law enforcement agencies to handle the matter.
Image: Trevor Samson

Auditor-general Kimi Makwetu has withdrawn his team looking into the books of Emfuleni municipality after one of his staff was shot at a guesthouse last week.

Makwetu has also escalated the shooting to the office of Gauteng premier David Makhura and provincial police commissioner Lt-Col Deliwe de Lange.

Makwetu yesterday said one of his staff members was shot in the leg and remained in hospital.

"Because of the seriousness of the incident, we have not only reported it to law enforcement agencies, but also escalated it to the office of the Gauteng premier and relevant members of his cabinet," Makwetu said.

"We have also engaged the provincial police commissioner. To this end, the mayor of Emfuleni and his team have assured us that they will provide security to our team members in their buildings and other places where they are accommodated.

"In the interest of the safety of our employees, we have taken the decision to withdraw our audit team from the municipality while the matter is being handled by law enforcement agencies."

Police spokesperson Lt-Col Lungelo Dlamini said a 32-year-old woman was asleep at a guesthouse in Vanderbijlpark when an unknown man fired shots at her through the window.

"She was wounded in the right thigh and knee. The suspect gained entrance through the window. He also fired four more shots while inside but they didn't hit the victim," Dlamini said.

"Two laptops were robbed during the incident. The victim is in a stable and a satisfactory condition. No arrests have been made."

Makwetu said the incident came against the backdrop of escalating threats and intimidation of audit teams in the country.

"For example, early this month, two colleagues auditing the Tshwane Metropolitan municipality, together with a Tshwane official, were held hostage by sub-contractors while conducting asset verifications as part of the audit process," Makwetu said.

"The sub-contractors claimed that they had not been paid by the main contractor and strangely demanded their outstanding balance from our staff."

The team was eventually rescued by the security officials working with law enforcement agencies. From then, the AG's team is now being accompanied by members of the Tshwane Metro Police Department until it concludes its work.

Makwetu said there had been other incidents of intimidation in the North West, Moretele and Madibeng local municipalities.

Efforts to get comment from the Emfuleni municipality did not yield any results.

The DA has condemned the shooting, saying it raised concerns "because the robbers fled the scene with only the laptop that the auditor was carrying with her which contained sensitive and crucial information about the forensic investigations under way in Emfuleni", said the party's premier candidate Solly Msimanga.

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