The department of defence has again received a qualified audit opinion, with the auditor-general finding there was complete mismanagement of its assets. The department oversees the South African National Defence Force, which is responsible for defending SA against external military aggression and plays a key role in peacekeeping missions in Africa. It has over the years been hit with a string of negative audit reports, ranging from qualified, to disclaimer, which is the worst possible audit outcome. The department received a qualified audit in the previous financial year, after submitting error-ridden financial statements and incurring more than R400m in irregular spending. The department has a budget of about R48bn for the 2018/2019 financial year, down from R49bn allocated in 2017/2018. It has said it requires more money to avoid losing more of its essential capabilities.

In the department’s annual report, tabled in Parliament this week, auditor-general Kimi Makwetu said he ...

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