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“The INTOSAI community right now suffers from a void that will be hard to fill. Kimi Makwetu, Auditor General of South Africa and CBC Chair, a great personality and leader – has left us. Further; a husband, father, colleague, and friend. Many fine components in one person made him fill the room when he entered it, a presence and low-key conviction that made everyone notice that something important was about to be said.

He did not claim the room, he was just there, knowing his mission, wanting to encourage, inspire and share – and he knew exactly how. People listened when he spoke, took his words with them back to their own environment to create new beginnings out of what he had said. Kimi knew he had power, but that was never misused. He stayed loyal to his mission, knowing his role and the importance of carrying out his duty. For his country, his organization, for INTOSAI and for the CBC. He never stopped although his health gave him a hard time. He continued, he presented reports and made public sector auditing, transparency, accountability and independence crucial ingredients of a well-functioning democracy. He was known to his citizens and he made sure that he had made every little thing within his power, before retirement. But fate wanted differently – and left us all in shock.

The adventure of turning the CBC into an agile and forward-looking centre of experience and expertise started long before I took office as Auditor General of Sweden. Strategies, work plans, terms of reference and relevant workstreams had been shaped over the years, with a leadership excellently tuning in to demand from CBC members and the broader INTOSAI community, creating space for the needs of INTOSAI regions as well as the individual SAI. Although I came into the picture only quite recently, I immediately felt the energy of what was going on in the CBC. It was such an honour to enter this platform full of engaged individuals and get to know Kimi, learn from him and be inspired. The time I got to be his vice chair however now strikes me hard as far too short. My partner in leading the CBC, to whom I with confidence turned to share ideas and questions and got so much in return, made my position as vice chair of the CBC such joy. Had it only been possible I would, with great pride, have remained his CBC wingman for much longer.

We will now have to recover, slowly. In due time, we shall continue down Kimi’s path and carry his legacy for years ahead. I shall, to the best of my ability, continue to develop the capacity development efforts within INTOSAI together with the incoming CBC chair. It will be an honour to do so, and I hope to have Kimi’s spirit watching over us  – and we shall never forget how it all started”.

Helena Lindberg

Vice chair, INTOSAI Capacity Building Committee