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Steinhoff bosses forced by MPs to reveal names of execs implicated in PwC report

Disgraced former CEO Markus Jooste’s name is among them, along with former chief financial officer Ben la Grange and former executives Dirk Schreiber and Stehan Grobler.

FILE: Former Steinhoff chief executive officer Markus Jooste appears at Parliament to answer questions from a joint sitting of the finance and other committees on 5 September 2018. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Steinhoff bosses have been forced to reveal in Parliament the names of those implicated by audit firm PwC in its report on the alleged fraud and corruption that led to the company’s share price collapse a year and a half ago.

Disgraced former CEO Markus Jooste’s name is among them, along with former chief financial officer Ben la Grange and former executives Dirk Schreiber and Stehan Grobler. None are still employed by the company.

Steinhoff’s chief executive officer Louis Du Preez initially insisted that on the advice of Steinhoff’s lawyers, the names could not be divulged. But a parliamentary legal adviser made it clear that the company could be compelled to provide the information.

Finance committee chairperson Yunus Carrim then ordered the company to comply.

"We instruct you to give us the names of the people whom PwC alleges committed the most serious offences."

CEO Louis du Preez then did so: "AS instructed I then disclosed the following names to the committees: The executive that we referred to was Mr Markus Jootse. The other executives at Steinhoff are Mr Dirk Schreiber, Mr Ben la Grange, and Mr Stehan Grobler.

Du Preez also named four non-Steinhoff executives linked to overseas companies that played a role in the scam that saw the global retail giant’s profit and asset values vastly inflated over years.

"The individuals involved in those entities are four individuals firstly Mr Siegmar Schmidt who was until 2012, the CFO of Steinhoff Europe. He left the employ of Steinhoff Europe. The other three individuals are Mr Alan Evans, Mr Jean-Noel Pasquier and Mr Romano."

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