South Africa: A 'Dear Friend' SMS From Markus Jooste Adds to His Steinhoff Woes

Steinhoff International former chief executive officer Markus Jooste
6 August 2019

Cape Town — A 'Dear Friend' SMS of apology from Markus Jooste days before the news of the Steinhoff firm's rot was exposed, has been handed in as evidence in a court case that is seeing the pressure mount on Jooste, the former chief executive officer of the international furniture and household goods retailer.

Jooste resigned hurriedly amid rumours that the company had been misrepresenting its earnings to shareholders and investors to the tune of more than U.S.$7 billion. This was just the tip of the iceberg as more layers of corruption and mismanagement were peeled back and exposed, making this the biggest white collar corruption case in South Africa's history.

Many people lost their life savings and are now joining the long line of companies that are baying for Jooste's blood, wanting to sue him for their losses.

So what else has befallen the Steinhoff 'hero?'

Jooste may face charges relating to insider trading after a close friend was advised a few days before Steinhoff's disgrace was uncovered, to sell his shares in the company.

He appeared in front of a parlimentary portfolio committee to 'please explain' the biggest scandal in South Africa's corporate history.

He is being sued in his personal capacity by several firms.

He was suspended by accounting body SAICA - South African Institute of Chartered Accountants.

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