South Africa: Steinhoff Saga Shows That Corporate SA Speaks With a Forked Tongue

Steinhoff International CEO Markus Jooste resigned with immediate effect after the retail giant's admission of financial irregularities that led to an investigation, and a drop of more than 60% in its shares.

Irregular accounting. Now there's an interesting turn of phrase for what is arguably the biggest financial scandal to which many hard-working people have fallen unwitting victim in South Africa. The Steinhoff case will go down in history as one of unchecked, unregulated financial malfeasance by sociopathic gangsters in suits - nearly R164-billion has been wiped off its value since Wednesday.

The global furniture and clothing retailer (which also happens to be one of the sponsors of the Blitsboks) has as its second largest shareholder the Public Investment Corporation - the manager of the pension fund of more than one million government workers.

Also, anyone with what finance types call "exposure" to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange will be affected.

The PIC has lost roughly R14-billion this past week off of the "irregular accounting" of the Steinhoff board. The PIC owns a 7.4% shareholding within Steinhoff. Interestingly, in the culture of identity politics in South Africa, the Steinhoff board are all white, all male and all CAs. How this collective of no doubt fine financial minds failed to pick up these "irregularities" only they will know, but which will hopefully come to light in the ensuing weeks as investigators try to get...

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