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Questions remain on who will pay disgraced Jooste’s debt

todayMarch 24, 2024 112

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As the debate continues over former Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste’s death, questions remain over who will take over his debt.

Jooste killed himself after he was slapped with a R475 million fine by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) for fraudulent financial statements.

A warrant of arrest against him and a former colleague who is implicated in the alleged accounting fraud had been issued.

Financial Mail editor, Rob Rose, who has been following his shenanigans and wrote a book on the real story behind Steinhoof, says Jooste’s demise came as a shock.

Rose was expecting the 63-year-old to fight the criminal charges against him, just like he had fought every other case as he maintained his innocence in the accounting scandal that shook the world, wiping out R200 billion in pension fund money.

The FSCA says the global retailer, Steinhoff, suffered major loss due to Jooste’s misleading statements.

FSCA’s Commissioner, Unathi Kamlana, says they conducted rigorous investigations against Jooste.

Rose says Jooste’s story bares striking similarities to that of mining tycoon Brett Kebble, as both men might have felt as though death was the easy way out of their problems.

In 2005, mining boss, Kebble, who was facing imminent financial ruin, and personal disgrace -was shot and killed in a hail of bullets while driving to a dinner party in Melrose.

It only surfaced the following year that he had hired convicted drug trafficker, Glenn Agliotti, to kill him.

His death came months after shareholders had forced him to resign as the chief executive of three interlinked South African mining firms.

Rose says Kebble and Jooste were birds of the same feather.

At the time of his death, a German court also had a warrant of arrest against Jooste, who resigned from Steinhoff in 2017.

His assets had also been frozen by the Reserve Bank.

The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) has expressed its intention to drop a probe into Jooste that the organisation instituted in 2019, with some South Africans slamming this as a ploy to fool the public that something was being done to bring Jooste to book.

Some South Africans believe he might still be alive somewhere.

Steinhoff was liquidated last year amid plans to switch from a publicly listed company, owned by shareholders, to a delisted group under the control of its creditors.

Written by: Nokwazi Qumbisa

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