Parly hearing into Steinhoff scandal won't duplicate probes into firm - Carrim

The global retailer’s share price collapsed after it reported so-called “accounting irregularities" and its CEO Markus Jooste resigned.

FILE: Former Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste. Picture: Gallo Images/Financial Mail/Jeremy Glyn

CAPE TOWN - Parliamentary hearings into the Steinhoff accounting debacle that are set to begin at the end of the month will not duplicate investigations already underway into the company.

Standing Committee on Finance chairperson Yunus Carrim says that the hearings will be conducted jointly with the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) and the Public Service and Administration oversight committee.

The global retailer’s share price collapsed after it reported so-called “accounting irregularities" and its CEO Markus Jooste resigned.

Steinhoff is already under investigation by regulators in South Africa and in Europe.

Carrim says that the parliamentary hearings, due to kick off on 30 or 31 January, will be part of a bigger process aimed at dealing with what he calls a complex matter.

“This is one of the biggest corporate scandals we have had in our country, and we are concerned to see what lessons we can learn from this.”

Carrim says the committees’ concern is for all South Africans affected and not only public servants. The Government Employees’ Pension Fund was among Steinhoff’s biggest investors.

“The aim is to find out whether our regulatory bodies acted as they should have, in terms of the law.”

Carrim has already approached the Financial Services Board, the Reserve Bank, the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors and the JSE, informing them about the hearings, as well as the Public Investment Corporation and the Government Employees’ Pension Fund.

Steinhoff will also be invited to make a submission.