Auditor General Kimi Makwetu, 54, died on Wednesday after a long battle with cancer, his office announced on Wednesday.
Paying tribute, President Cyril Ramaphosa described Makwetu as someone who served the nation with distinction and with great integrity.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time of great sorrow,” said Ramaphosa, during his address to the nation on Wednesday evening.
“Mr Makwetu passed away in hospital. He was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in June 2018,” his office said in a short statement.
Makwetu, a chartered accountant by profession, was appointed as auditor-general in December 2013. His term as auditor-general was due to expire at the end of November.
Originally from Cape Town, he held a degree in social sciences from the University of Cape Town (UCT) and a BCompt Honours degree from the University of Natal, which paved his way to becoming a qualified chartered accountant.
The long list of companies he had worked for, included Standard Bank and Metropolitan Life.
Daily Maverick investigative journalist Pieter Louis Myburgh described Makwetu as “a lion who fought for this country tooth and nail. When institutions like the Hawks and the NPA bowed to the forces of capture, the AG remained resolutely committed to lawfulness and basic human decency.
“A giant has fallen.”
Picture source: @GovernmentZA