Jooste and seven others named as those behind Steinhoff’s collapse

Steinhoff International Holdings NV identified eight people, including former Chief Executive Officer Markus Jooste, as those allegedly behind questionable transactions that brought the global retailer to near collapse.

The company’s executives were compelled by a South African parliamentary committee to release the names even as Chairwoman Heather Sonn and Chief Executive Officer Louis du Preez warned it could jeopardise investigations and break European privacy laws.

Jooste’s mobile phone went straight to voicemail when called for comment and he didn’t immediately respond to a text message.

The Steinhoff directors were updating South Africa’s parliament after the company Friday released a summary of a long-awaited probe into an accounting scandal that almost destroyed the retailer in late 2017.

Representatives of regulators and a local anti-graft police unit also appeared. The owner of Conforama in France and Mattress Firm in the US said it remains in a “precarious position”.

With about 100 auditors at PwC having laboured on the report for well over a year, the company said it plans to dig deeper into the accounting misdeeds as it seeks to get to the bottom of some $7.4 billion in fictitious or improper deals.

Steinhoff is now proceeding with preparing its 2017 and 2018 audited earnings, due next month.

Steinhoff’s over-arching objective is to ensure that those responsible are prosecuted, Sonn told lawmakers.

Read: Ex-Steinhoff boss was paid R5 million for 2 months of work

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Jooste and seven others named as those behind Steinhoff’s collapse