Parliament hopeful former Steinhoff CEO, CFO will testify

National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete on Tuesday night gave the go-ahead for the two men to be summoned to appear before the Standing Committee on Finance.

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

CAPE TOWN - Former Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste and its former chief financial officer, Ben la Grange, could appear in Parliament next week to answer questions related to the global retailer’s share price collapse and accounting scandal.

National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete on Tuesday night gave the go-ahead for the two men to be summoned to appear before the Standing Committee on Finance.

Both Jooste and La Grange have so far declined invitations to appear before the committee, prompting its request to Mbete that they be subpoenaed to appear.

The hearing is set down for next Wednesday. Parliament’s finance committee is inquiring into what may be one of the biggest corporate scandals in the country’s history.

Jooste and La Grange will now be summoned to appear, and Parliament says it’s hopeful that they will do so.

Spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said: “There need to be answers. The people of South Africa require answers. We are confident. We are hopeful that there will be cooperation from these two gentlemen.”

Investors and pension funds lost billions when Steinhoff’s share value plummeted last December, after serious accounting irregularities emerged.

Meanwhile, Parliament says summonses ordering Jooste and La Grange will be issued “as soon as possible”.

Motapho said: “What happens now is that the committee will go ahead, because now it has been granted an approval by the Speaker of the National Assembly through the Secretary to Parliament, a summons will be sent as soon as possible.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)