The auditor-general, Kimi Makwetu, recently released his audit opinions on the financial statements of South African Airways (SAA) and Mango for the year ended March 31 2017, which suggest delinquent conduct on the part of the directors and provide further evidence to support the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors’ (Irba’s) proposals for auditor rotation. Makwetu’s qualified audit opinions warrant closer analysis, especially when juxtaposed with the consistently "clean" audit opinions supplied by large international audit firms for these state-owned enterprises. It must be asked whether the auditor-general and his team possess unique talents that allow them to unearth financial misadventures the audit firms have consistently missed. Or is it just a coincidence that the SAA group went rogue in the first year in which Makwetu was responsible for the audits? Truth be told, the track record of mismanagement at SAA confirms that the likelihood of the airline only "going bad" in th...

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