Parliament Announces Hearings Into Steinhoff Multi-Billion Rand Corruption Amid DA’s Attempt To Take Credit for Instigating The Inquiry

By Pinky Khoabane

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Disgraced former CEO of Steinhoff, Markus Jooste who seems to have betrayed Chriso Wiese – the man he once looked up to, who mentored him and became business partners. Read the link at the end of this article. 

PARLIAMENT will, at the end of January, hold hearings into the Steinhoff’s multi-billion rand corruption scandal which has wiped out billions of rands invested on behalf of South Africans – both rich and poor.

The hearings will be held jointly with the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) and the Public Service and Administration Portfolio Committee.

The Public Investment Corporation (PIC), which invests on behalf of the Government Employees Pension Fund, is the third largest shareholder in Steinhoff after Wiese and Deutsche Börse Asset Management.

In the Telegraph last week, one banker was quoted as saying: “I had never seen anything like it, it was like an eBay auction but the bidders were playing with hundreds of millions of pounds.” The banker was referring to Steinhoff’s frenetic rapid-fire bidding war in 2016 for French electronics retailer Darty against rival Fnac.

“At the time it was considered exciting, if not unusual, behaviour for a retail conglomerate. But now that an accounting scandal has left the South African company’s share price and its reputation in tatters many are asking why the warning signs hadn’t been spotted earlier.

For many shareholders it was the case of following the money and blindly believing in the seemingly never-ending successes of two wealthy men: Markus Jooste and Christo Wiese”.

The Democratic Alliance’s attempt to claim credit for the instigation of the commission was rejected by the Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Finance, Yunus Carrim: “It’s absolutely not true that the hearings are being held at the request of Mr David Maynier, as he claims.

“Actually, I acted immediately after the issue broke out and decided that the Committee would have to have hearings on this matter well before Mr Maynier wrote to me and rushed to the media. I also received a call from Mr Floyd Shivambu regarding the matter – and Mr Godi had already issued a statement,” Carrim said.

“I wrote to the Financial Services Board (FSB), South African Reserve Bank, Public Investment Corporation, Government Employees Pension Fund, Independent Board for Auditors and JSE informing them about the pending hearings and requesting them to provide us with the scope or terms of reference of the FSB investigation into Steinhoff and the possible timelines for the completion of the investigation,” he said.

The various institutions responded within seven days and their responses were forwarded to Committee members by 22 December 2017, Carrim added. “All Mr Maynier had to do was phone or SMS me to check on progress, and not seek to claim that it’s only the DA component in the Committee that cares about an issue of such national importance that should really cut across petty political party rivalries. Mr Maynier’s political posturing only exacerbates the situation.”

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  1. The Financial Services Board (FSB)

    Is the government of South Africa financial regulatory agency.

    responsible for the non-banking financial services industry in South Africa. It is an independent body that supervises and regulates the financial services industry in the public interest.

    This includes the regulation of the biggest stock exchange in Africa the Johannesburg Stock Exchange

    “FSB” is responsible for ensuring that the regulated entities comply with the relevant legislation as well as capital adequacy requirements to promote financial soundness of these entities and thereby protecting the investing community.

    It has enforcement powers to deal with breaches through the enforcement committee. The Committee may impose unlimited penalties, compensation orders and cost orders. Such orders are enforceable as if it was a judgment of the Supreme Court of South Africa.

  2. Who initiated the hearing for Steinhoff does not really matter, in fact its unprecedented for parliament to even initiate such.

    Calling Steinhoff to account to parliament is like barking on the wrong tree, knocking on the wrong door!

    The people accountable for the mess of irregularities & violations is “FSB” as regulators, who could have picked the scandal long before the damage incurred.

    Parliament need to have heads rolling at FSB. Change management if need be, and order them to recover all the losses from shareholders & auditors .

    FSB (as regulator) has the power and the authority to recover every cent lost to PIC, as Steinhoff`s downfall was self made, and Chriso Wiese would have been well aware of the baked & cooked financial reports as he would have signed same. Both him and Jooste colluded into this manupulation.

    “To say he was betrayed by his Ceo is a joke” investors like PIC & others were the ones betrayed.

    Our parliamentarian need to stop looking for praise and glory for fulfilling their constitutional duties. We pay for their fat salaries!

    1. He’s probably around the world somewhere following his horse during its races or chasing his mistress – but I would imagine except his integrity, nothing much has changed for him.

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