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Former Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste won't answer questions in Parly, say lawyers

Jooste was invited to appear before a joint meeting on Wednesday of four committees, including those of finance and public accounts.

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

CAPE TOWN - Lawyers acting for former Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste say he won’t be coming to Parliament to answer questions.

Jooste was invited to appear before a joint meeting on Wednesday of four committees, including those of finance and public accounts.

But his lawyers say that appearing before the committees could put his right to a fair trial in jeopardy.

In an unusual move, the committees have released the letter received from Jooste’s lawyers, who say he resigned as CEO of Steinhoff last year and is not in a position to meaningfully assist the committees.

They add Jooste has already been summoned to appear to be interrogated about what happened with Steinhoff by the Financial Services Board and is the subject of a Hawks investigation.

The letter says indications are that Jooste will be prosecuted and be appearing before the committees to be questioned will undermine his right to a fair trial.

The chairpersons of the Standing Committee on Finance and Public Accounts, as well as those of the trade and industry and public administration oversight committees, are now weighing up whether or not to summons Jooste to appear.