Tuesday , July 27 2021

Steinhoff's CEO reveals two questions he is often asked

Steinhoff's chief executive officer, Fisher Louis du Preez, told investors he was pushing for two of the biggest things since the retailer's collapse: Can we look at the full forensic report and when will ex-CEO Marcus Joust be arrested?

The first accounts related to the outbreak at the end of 2017 are related to a fraudulent investigation by PwC.

The results of the investigation were often delayed, as even acute financial minds struggled with the complexity of the task. Steinhoff eventually published only a 10-page summary – though more detail was included in the subsequent ited ditched results.

The second question refers to the fate of JUST, the businessman identified by Steinhoff, the most responsible for the level of third-party transactions and the number of alleged financial misconduct.

While the South African company is seeking more than R850m (million 56 million) from a 58-year-old in a legal challenge, he has not been charged and denies wrongdoing.

So how does the CEO respond?

Du Preez said in a presentation in Cape Town on Tuesday that the entire PwC report needed to be kept secret for Stanhoff's own legal cases. While the financial scrutiny is largely completed, the role of third parties is being investigated further, he said.

Speaking of Justin, it is not the company's job to initiate criminal proceedings. Steinhoff has been cooperating with authorities and has been in daily contact with South African regulators, but his dispatch has only gone so far, Du Preez said.

The CEO then gave it to Alex Watson, a member of the Supervisory Board and former professor of accounting at Cape Town University. He said Steinhoff's accounts were "very complex financial statements that you can imagine preparing."

"That was the longest audit point opinion to date," the professor said.

"Students will study this for years."

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