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SOUTH AFRICA – August 2008: Markus Jooste, CEO of Steinhoff. (Photo by Gallo Images / Financial Mail / Jeremy Glyn)

Steinhoff: Markus Jooste to testify before Parliament

What will Markus Jooste say before parliament?

South African news today

SOUTH AFRICA – August 2008: Markus Jooste, CEO of Steinhoff. (Photo by Gallo Images / Financial Mail / Jeremy Glyn)

Markus Jooste, the disgraced former CEO of Steinhoff and modern-day recluse, will make a rare public appearance in Parliament on Wednesday.

Jooste resigned in December 2017, amid accounting irregularities which cost shareholders billions of Rands. These irregularities have now been brought under the microscope by Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance.

Markus Jooste hiding since December

According to Fin24, the appearance agreement comes following intense delegation between Jooste’s legal counsel and the parliamentary committee, which issued the ex-Steinhoff boss with a subpoena in August.

Jooste hasn’t made a public appearance in almost ten months. The Steinhoff saga continues to baffle shareholders and public interest alike. The answer’s relating to South Africa’s biggest corporate scandal lie with Jooste; the man who told shareholders that it was time to:

“…move on and take the consequences of my behaviour like a man.”

The former CEO declined a previous invitation to appear before Parliament in March; his lawyers managed to wiggle him out of a tight spot by saying their client had no way of assisting the Steinhoff investigation as he was no longer employed by the company.

Yet, a parliamentary appearance is just another notch on Jooste’s long belt of problems. His lawyers say that their client is currently under investigation by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (formerly the Financial Services Board).

The Hawks, South Africa’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, have also swooped down on Jooste.

Former Steinhoff executives spilling their guts

While it’s still unclear just how these investigations are unfolding – they were used as a previous excuse for Jooste’s parliamentary no-show, as his lawyers thought Parliament could undermine his right to a fair trial.

But while Jooste has been mum on Steinhoff’s dire financial mishap, his associates have been summoned by the oversight committee on finance, to provide details regarding “institutional flaws and challenges existing in our financial regulatory framework”.

The hearing is expected to begin at 10:00. Jooste will be appearing before a joint sitting of four committees – finance, public accounts, trade and industry, and public administration.