20 March 2019
According to Reuters former Steinhoff Chief Executive Markus Jooste and seven others were involved in a $7.4 billion accounting fraud at the South African retailer, the new CEO said told lawmakers on Tuesday. Revelations of accounting irregularities in December 2017 wiped out almost 95% of its value. On 6 December 2017, Steinhoff’s CEO, Markus Jooste, resigned after Steinhoff’s auditors refused to sign off on the audited financials as a result of irregularities in its accounts. After his resignation, Steinhoff’s share price plummeted. Moneyweb reported.
Steinhoff held retailing activities in 30 countries with 6500 retail outlets.
The investigation by PwC was commissioned after $15bn was wiped off Steinhoff’s shares in 2017. Markus Jooste, the group’s long-time chief executive, resigned in the wake of the scandal which Steinhoff only survived through doing a deal with creditors.
Most affected was the country’s richest man, Christo Wiese, who had been its largest single shareholder. Some pension funds also had invested in the shares of the company. After the scandal Mr Wise stepped down as chairman of the group.
The PwC probe found that Steinhoff inflated the group’s profits and assets by about 6.5bn euros. Steinhoff has previously said it would not be making the original report public as it contains confidential information. The report, it said, is comprised of 3000 pages and contains some 4000 documents as annexes. SA’s directorate for priority crime investigation, the Hawks, must give Parliament weekly updates on the progress of its investigation into Steinhoff, chairperson of the oversight committee on finance Yunus Carrim said on Tuesday. News24 reported.