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PIC says it needs the PwC report on Steinhoff to act against directors

The state-run asset manager has told Parliament it will file court papers “soon” in a bid to compel Steinhoff to hand over the report. Steinhoff commissioned PwC to investigate once the extent of the scandal became known.

Steinhoff's offices in Stellenbosch. Picture: Supplied.

CAPE TOWN - The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) on Tuesday said for it to take any action against directors of Steinhoff, it needed to have sight of PwC’s report on its in-depth investigation into what went wrong at the retail conglomerate.

Steinhoff’s share-price collapsed in December 2017 after fraud allegations surfaced and its then CEO, Markus Jooste, resigned.

The state-run asset manager told Parliament it would file court papers “soon” in a bid to compel Steinhoff to hand over the report. Steinhoff commissioned PwC to investigate once the extent of the scandal became known.

Steinhoff has so far released only an executive summary of PwC’s voluminous report, and won’t make it public on the basis that this could compromise civil and criminal proceedings against implicated persons, including Jooste.

The PIC, in charge of investing past and present public servants’ retirement savings on behalf of the Government Employees’ Pension Fund, took a huge knock from Steinhoff’s share collapse two years ago after the scandal, with its total exposure now estimated at R24 billion.

The PIC’s head of legal services, Lindiwe Dlamini, was among PIC management and board members who briefed Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance earlier on Tuesday.

“One of the important things for us to take any form of action against the directors of Steinhoff is to make sure that we have all the relevant information to ensure that by the time we institute proceedings against the directors of Steinhoff we have the full background and the full picture of what happened”.

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