Steinhoff ex-CEO had expected arrest before being found near death, police say

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Steinhoff ex-CEO had expected: Apparently, the elite Hawks police force learned of the arrest warrant against the former CEO of the South African global retailer Steinhoff not long before he was found dead on Friday.

According to the Hawks, 63-year-old Markus Jooste and his ex-coworker Stephanus Grobler were both served with warrants on Wednesday, the same day that the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) penalized Jooste for accounting fraud.

Jooste was discovered in a rough location close to the Cape Town beach town of Hermanus with a gunshot wound; he passed away while being transported to the hospital. It was reported in the local media that he had committed suicide.

Reuters reports that Steinhoff did not react to calls for comment and that efforts to contact Jooste’s relatives were fruitless.

Jooste was punished for releasing fraudulent and misleading financial statements and reports between 2014 and 2017. He had been an integral part of Steinhoff’s growth from a tiny Johannesburg furniture company to an international retailer.

The police said that even though Jooste left the company in 2017, they still expected Grobler to turn himself in and show up for a court hearing in Pretoria.

Claims against Jooste and others include Steinhoff International Holdings-related fraud, racketeering, and Financial Markets Act offenses. It has been reported by the police that Grobler has already made an appearance in court.

The FSCA has said that the 475 million rand ($25.0 million) fine and inquiry against Steinhoff will remain unaffected by Jooste’s passing. It stressed that the FSCA can lawfully collect the fine from Jooste’s family.

Pepkor and Pepco, two cheap shops in South Africa and Europe, are majority-owned by Steinhoff. Since Jooste left, the company has suffered heavy losses and been the target of multiple litigation.

Ethan Sullivan

Ethan's penchant for the pulse of the fashion world extends to covering lifestyle topics, offering readers a seamless blend of the latest style updates and lifestyle trends.

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