LIVE: Parliament to be briefed on Steinhoff

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2018-01-31 09:31

A joint sitting of three Parliamentary committee’s is set to be briefed on challenges facing embattled retailer Steinhoff International.

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Steinhoff’s acting chairwoman Heather Sonn is providing a briefing. 

She has said the group is “deeply constrained on what it can say, legal and otherwise”.

“We come to this gathering open and if we could communicate everything today, we would communicate.”

She said the group understood the public interest in the group’s finances, and how is has impacted South Africans and investors. 

She also promised that the group would “prosecute wrongdoing” but added that investigations were still ongoing. 




The three committees are probing the Stellenbosch-headquartered retail giant, because the company’s share price has suffered a precipitous decline since its board announced on the evening of Tuesday December 5 that its CEO Markus Jooste was stepping down “with immediate effect”.

The board also at the time announced that new information had come to light relating to “accounting irregularities requiring further investigation”, and that PricewaterhouseCoopers would conduct an independent investigation into its books.  

This investigation is still ongoing.

Steinhoff is facing at least five different probes in South Africa and Europe, in addition to the PwC probe. 

These include investigations by the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the Financial Services Board, the Department of Trade and Industry and the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission, and a long-simmering German criminal probe. 

It is also facing a German criminal probe. 




Parliament will on Tuesday for the first time be briefed on what happened at Steinhoff International.

Three committees of Parliament will hear from, among others, the JSE, the Financial Services Board, the state’s employee pension fund, the public investment corporation and the SA Reserve Bank and auditors.

The bodies will be asked about the status of their investigations. 

Steinhoff leadership is present, and will be providing a briefing. 

Yunus Carrim, the chair of the  Standing Committee on Finance, of the chairperson of the briefing. 

The committees involved in the briefing are the Standing Committee on Finance, the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, better known as Scopa, and the Standing Committee on Appropriations.

The Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration/Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, is also attending the briefing but not in an official capacity. 

Carrim said members of all committees will be able to pose questions. 



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