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Steinhoff accused of ‘malicious compliance’ over Jooste complaint

Steinhoff’s attorney Robert Driman of Werksmans denied the accusation, saying there was no 'open and shut case' to hand over.

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

CAPE TOWN – The Hawks have accused Steinhoff of “malicious compliance” with the complaint the company laid against former CEO Markus Jooste in January, saying it contained no details.

The company went to the Hawks on the eve of its first appearance before a parliamentary hearing into the Steinhoff accounting scandal, and the accusation is that it did this just to look good when it faced MPs.

But the lawyer acting for Steinhoff on Wednesday told a second hearing at Parliament there was nothing cynical about the move.

Hawks commercial crimes unit head Major General Alfred Khana says they’re investigating three matters related to Steinhoff but that the complaint the company itself filed on the eve of parliamentary hearings in January was “empty” and contained no details.

“When I saw the report I was livid because this report is nothing. This is malicious compliance in the utmost.”

Steinhoff’s attorney Robert Driman of Werksmans denied the accusation, saying there was no "open and shut case" to hand over.

“If the impression was created that it was a cynical complaint, then I think it was the wrong impression.”

Parliament is moving to subpoena Jooste to appear before the inquiry. Former chief financial officer Ben le Grange will be given 10 days to confirm his attendance or he too will be summoned.