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Business community urged to distance itself from Steinhoff

The furniture retailer lost more than 63% of its stock value on the JSE on Wednesday after CEO Markus Jooste stepped down amid allegations of accounting irregularities.

Former Steinhoff CEO CEO Markus Jooste. Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - There’s been widespread condemnation against Steinhoff International’s conduct, with Corruption Watch now calling on the business community to distance itself from the global retailer.

The furniture retailer lost more than 63% of its stock value on the JSE on Wednesday after CEO Markus Jooste stepped down amid allegations of accounting irregularities.

The scandal has further ignited calls for more focus and interrogation of corruption in the private sector.

Meanwhile, the Public Servants Association (PSA) has called for the safeguarding of pension investments, saying more than R12 billion has been lost through investments at Steinhoff.

The PSA’s Tahir Maepa says they’ve called an urgent meeting to discuss the way forward.

“This is the tip of an iceberg. More than R12 billion is gone and tomorrow it’s another R12 billion. We’ve called an urgent meeting with both the PIC and GEPF to also check the extent of this disaster.”

Questions continue to be raised around Steinhoff’s conduct and accounting fraud relating to assets worth almost R100 billion.

Ashburton Investment’s Wayne Mccurrie says details about the so-called irregularities are still being investigated.

“They’ve issued another statement saying ‘we’ve had a look, and from what we can ascertain they doubt the validity and recoverability of assets worth about €6 billion’, that’s what we know. Understand, everything else anyone says, including me, is still speculation. Those are the hard facts we have.”

LISTEN: PSA expresses serious concerns over Steinhoff scandal

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)