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Auditor-General of South Africa explains the unfortunate incident of its stolen computers

The Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) can confirm that 464 new laptop computers valued at R5,1 million were stolen from its Pretoria headquarters.

In the past three months the AGSA has experienced a series of break-ins at its offices in the North West, Mpumalanga and Gauteng where valuable assets including computers were stolen.

The latest theft of the computers, which were stored in a secure storage area, was reported to the police on 22 March. A police investigation has led to the arrest of two junior AGSA employees based at head office, who dealt with computer dispatching for the organisation.

As the AGSA we believe in and support the principle of 'innocent until proven guilty'. We believe that these employees should be afforded that courtesy - the fact that they have been arrested should not be interpreted to suggest that they are guilty.

To allow the police investigation to proceed smoothly without any undue influence on the process or infringement of the implicated employees' right to privacy, the AGSA will fully cooperate with the law enforcement agencies but will only make detailed public comments on the matter when the investigation has been completed.

However, although we will not comment in detail on this matter while investigations are underway, we can categorically state at this stage that the AGSA, as supporter of ethical conduct and good corporate governance, expects and encourages its employees to lead by example at all times. Employees are required to conduct themselves in a manner that will enable the organisation to continue to set an example to those it audits and South African taxpayers in general.

If there are deviations from these fundamental ethics we follow our set policies and procedures by taking the necessary action based on factual information. In this case also, we will await the findings of the investigation before we make any further comments or decisions.

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