Former Steinhoff CEO Appears Before Parliament

Former Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste appears in parliament on September 5 2018. PICTURE: LINDA ENSOR

CAPE TOWN: Jooste is in Parliament to face tough questions on Wednesday morning.

Former Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste was supposed to appear last month but the Western Cape High Court granted him an interdict to appear on Wednesday.

Jooste was supposed to appear last month but the Western Cape High Court granted him an interdict to appear on Wednesday.

It has been a long legal battle for Parliament to get Jooste to give details of what happened as the accounting officer.

It is estimated that about R18 billion in funds belonging to the public service employees were lost when Steinhoff crashed last year.

Jooste is appearing on the basis of an agreement reached with the acting secretary to parliament Penelope Tyawa and finance committee chairman Yunus Carrim that he will not have to answer questions regarding his role in the Steinhoff debacle which could prejudice him in any future civil or criminal proceedings.

In terms of the agreement, which was made an order of the Western Cape High Court, Tyawa agreed to withdraw the summons parliament issued against Jooste and he agreed to appear before the committees of finance, trade and industry, public accounts, and public service and administration.

Jooste agreed to be questioned in order “to identify any institutional flaws and challenges existing in the relevant financial regulatory framework or any implementation challenges in the financial regulatory framework which might have caused or given rise to the collapse of the value of Steinhoff shares”.

Jooste has refused to appear voluntarily before parliament on the grounds that he was no longer CEO and could not answer questions on behalf of the group; and also because there was the possibility that he could prejudice himself in relation to any future criminal or civil cases.

The joint committee meeting of Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa), Finance, as well as Public Service and Administration is expected to grill Jooste about the events leading up to the collapse.

Meanwhile, former CFO Ben La Grange denied any wrongdoing on this matter.