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NPA: We are unaware of Markus Jooste balance sheet fraud charges in Germany

5 March 2021 1:46 PM
Tags:
NPA
Steinhoff
markus jooste

NPA spokesperson Sipho Ngwema says the reports emanated from one particular magazine.

The Steinhoff scandal shook the country in 2017 after it was revealed that corruption within the company resulted in investors in South Africa's pension funds and unit trust funds sustaining losses to the tune of billions.

The company to its knees with a massive disintegration of its share-price at that time.

RELATED: What we learned from the Steinhoff failure (SA's largest corporate scandal ever)

Steinhoff International was dual-listed in Germany and South Africa.

While the CEO, Markus Jooste, resigned immediately, he was accused of being centrally involved in fraudulent transactions that artificially inflated profit and asset values over several years. He has, however, denied all allegations.

Now, top Steinhoff executives including Markus Jooste have reportedly been formally charged with allegations of 2015 balance sheet fraud in Germany.

But the National Prosecuting Authority in South Africa has not been made aware of this, indicates NPA spokesperson Sipho Ngwema.

I am not aware of anything that has come our way, in fact, even those reports that I have seen, they were emanating from one particular magazine.

Sipho Ngwema, Spokesperson - National Prosecuting Authority

I didn't see anything from the State or the authorities in Germany with regards to this matter.

Sipho Ngwema, Spokesperson - National Prosecuting Authority

What is the status of the South African investigation into Steinhoff by the NPA and the Hawks asks Kiewit?

It's a huge investigation and very complex. It affects about five countries a least, and you would understand that means different jurisdictions and different laws.

Sipho Ngwema, Spokesperson - National Prosecuting Authority

There are enormous volumes of papers to investigate he adds.

Fortunately, Price Waterhouse Cooper (PWC) has been working on the matter as part of laying the complaint...and we got access to the entire report so the investigation is proceeding well.

Sipho Ngwema, Spokesperson - National Prosecuting Authority

The NPA received the PWC Steinhoff report in mid-2020, says Ngwema.

But we must not lie to ourselves. It is going to be a huge and complicated investigation.

Sipho Ngwema, Spokesperson - National Prosecuting Authority

Kiewit asks Ngwema about the Financial Times report on Thursday that the NPA accepted the R30 million donation from Steinhoff to help in the fraud investigation due to budgetary constraints in South Africa.

How does the NPA feel regarding the ethics of accepting money from an organisation that in part it is also investigating?

Lester Kiewit, The Midday Report Presenter - CapeTalk

To clarify, Steinhoff is the complainant. The new board instituted a forensic investigation after what happened and after the people who may be implicated left the company.

Lester Kiewit, The Midday Report Presenter - CapeTalk

He says there are new people in charge of the company that wants to get to the bottom of what happened.

Listen to the interview below:




5 March 2021 1:46 PM
Tags:
NPA
Steinhoff
markus jooste

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