Blow for Steinhoff as court grants media access to accounting fraud report

Bruce Whitfield interviews Rob Rose, editor of the Financial Mail and author of 'Steinheist'.

Former Steinhoff chief executive officer Markus Jooste. Picture: Eyewitness News

"The Steinhoff crash wiped more than R200bn off the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, erased more than half the wealth of tycoon Christo Wiese and knocked the pension funds of millions of ordinary South Africans."

That's the Steinhoff scandal in a nutshell, as summarised on the back cover of Rob Rose's book 'Steinheist: Markus Jooste, Steinhoff and SA's Biggest Corporate Fraud'.

RELATED: Steinhoff: 'I’m giving up hope we’ll ever see people brought to justice'

On Tuesday the Western Cape High Court granted two media houses (AmaBhungane and Tiso Blackstar) access to the forensic report into accounting fraud at Steinhoff, perpetrated under the watch of disgraced CEO Markus Jooste.

The company had argued that the report should remain privileged.

Bruce Whitfield interviews Rose, the Steinheist author and editor of the Financial Mail.

Rose says Steinhoff now has ten days to produce the 7,000-page report.

The court has now said that the legal privilege argument Steinhoff mounted just doesn't wash...

Rob Rose, Editor - Financial Mail

Jooste is among four Steinhoff executives charged with various counts of fraud by prosecutors in Germany in March 2021.

RELATED: The Germans have now charged Markus Jooste – Christo Wiese

Rose says we should expect prosecution of Jooste "sooner rather than later".

It was a big surprise that executives at Tongaat Hulett, for example, were arrested for fraud and dragged to court in February. I expected Steinhoff to happen before that considering that Steinhoff imploded before Tongaat did.

Rob Rose, Editor - Financial Mail

I think there has been progress in the NPA on some of these cases... I do believe it [Steinhoff prosecution] will happen in the end.

Rob Rose, Editor - Financial Mail

The Germans are still chipping away at it... but the impression from people close to the process was that they'd prefer the South African authorities to act on that... partly because Markus Jooste himself is based in South Africa...

Rob Rose, Editor - Financial Mail

Listen to the interview with Rose below (skip to 00:49):

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