Cape Town — In what is considered the biggest corruption case in South African history, furniture giant Steinhoff is accused of misrepresenting its balance sheets to shareholders for a number of years. years – a discovery that led to the hasty departure of its CEO Markus Jooste on December 5, 2017. The scandal led to a 90% drop in the company’s share price.
After years of legal wrangling, the South African Reserve Bank finally seized the assets belonging to Jooste on October 18, 2022. Eyewitness News reports.
Adjoining assets include the Lanzarac wine farm in Stellenbosch – swapped by its former owner, billionaire Christo Wiese, for shares in Steinhoff that turned out to be almost worthless, and a huge residence in the seaside town of Hermanus. Luxury vehicles, works of art and jewelry were also seized.
Jooste was also slapped with a hefty insider trading fine when he warned a friend a day before the Steinhoff saga came to light, to sell his shares. The South African government has convened several inquiries into Steinhoff. Many pension fund managers had invested in the company, losing their members’ pensions.
In 2021, German prosecutors completed their criminal investigation into manipulation of the balance sheet of Steinhoff, which had a primary listing on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The company was delisted from the stock exchange on April 29, 2022.
This is a developing story