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Cape Town – Dubbed the “bloodhound auditor”, Johan van der Walt’s employer has described him as a strong, loyal, trusted, respected and valued team member.
Van der Walt, who was the senior managing director of FTI Consulting, was listed as the main witness and author of the forensic report in the corruption trial against former president Jacob Zuma.
He died of natural causes in Joburg on Saturday. The exact cause of his death is unknown at this stage.
FTI Consulting’s senior marketing manager for the African region, Michelle Deavell said Van der Walt was a loving husband and father. “We are deeply saddened by the unexpected passing of Johan van der Walt on Saturday August 14, due to natural causes. He will always be missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, three sons, friends and colleagues during this very difficult time.”
In response to questions as to whether his passing will affect Zuma’s trial, National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said a qualified forensic accountant will present the report.
“We are saddened by his passing on and condolences to his family. His passing on will have no impact on the case as FTI Consulting retains the brief and arrangements will be made in due course for another qualified forensic accountant to present the report.”
Van der Walt was a partner and forensic auditor at KPMG before he joined the consulting firm in 2017.
He testified in the corruption trial of Schabir Shaik and two former senior Saambou Bank officials, Charles Edwards and Gerhardus De Clercq. The duo were however found not guilty to the 10 counts of fraud, theft and two of contravening the Companies Act, involving R640m.
His employer profile reads he had conducted investigative work in over 70 countries.