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Hawks' capacity to deal with Steinhoff probe questioned

Specialised Commercial Crimes head Alfred Khana on Wednesday night told MPs that he was still waiting for a sworn statement related to the criminal complaint filed by the company eight months ago.

A screengrab of Steinhoff’s former chief financial officer, Ben la Grange, testifying in Parliament. Picture: YouTube

CAPE TOWN - Questions have been raised over the Hawks' investigation into the Steinhoff debacle, with the focus on whether its Commercial Crimes Unit can cope with so complex a probe.

Specialised Commercial Crimes head Alfred Khana on Wednesday night told MPs that he was still waiting for a sworn statement related to the criminal complaint filed by the company eight months ago.

This was disputed by Steinhoff.

MPs were told there’d been meetings with a team from the Hawks and that supervisory board chair, Heather Sonn, had submitted a sworn report as advised.

Khana and Steinhoff have now been told they have 14 days to submit to Parliament a report detailing their interactions.

The Hawks are investigating three cases linked to the Steinhoff scandal, but Khana’s submission to MPs indicated that their probe is going nowhere fast.

Sonn was unhappy with the suggestion that the company is not doing everything in its power to cooperate with the Hawks.

“We need to do what the chair has asked, try and pull the whole team together, including the general, and get to the bottom of it. But I was extremely disheartened.”

Finance committee chairperson Yunus Carrim put it to Khana that the Hawks needed help.

“If, as seems to us, the Hawks don’t have capacity because of the complexity of these issues, then what capacity do you need and why can’t you get external capacity?”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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