Africa: Auditing Can Be a Dangerous Profession in South Africa

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MPs hear how auditors have to deal with hostile municipal employees who threaten and intimidate them, making it harder for them to do their work.

"I got work-related stress, I had to go see a therapist because I was really scared. You'll find yourself taking sleeping pills there, it's rough." This is what Thabang (not his real name), told Daily Maverick it was like working as an auditor.

This former auditor who worked at the auditor-general for four years confirmed what Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu told the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Auditor-General on Wednesday 4 December, about how stressful and often dangerous the job can be for auditors.

MPs heard of eight incidents where auditors were threatened by senior management in different municipalities.

"In some cases, people say to the auditor, 'You know your findings will cost us our bonuses.' People try their luck and offer bribes, but our auditors strictly adhere to the code of conduct and report it to us," said Makwetu.

A 2019 report from the Institute of Internal Auditors notes: "Over the last number of years, the Institute has received a number of verbal reports from internal auditors claiming that they are being victimised, intimidated, coerced...

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