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JOHANNESBURG - Shareholder activist Theo Botha has highlighted several alleged irregularities that directors in troubled listed furniture and household goods retailer Steinhoff were involved with in the past.

Botha also believes that more information needs to be released by Steinhoff and auditor Deloitte to allow investors in the company to make the right decisions about their investments.

“If you can get the information, you can make the right decision and I think at this stage there is not enough information.

“When they (Steinhoff) came out last week Friday and mentioned the auditors were not signing off on their financial results, the company should have done more than just issue an (Stock Exchange News Service) announcement.

Also read: #Steinhoffscandal - Jooste given 48 hours to respond

“That is the big worrying sign,” he said. Botha also believed auditors Deloitte needed to make a statement on why they did not sign off on Steinhoff’s financial results.

Deloitte Africa chief executive Lwazi Bam said yesterday that in performing its audit of Steinhoff, it had raised a series of questions to obtain information that would assist in finalising its audit opinion.

Bam said in consultation with Steinhoff it was determined that answers to these questions could only be obtained through an independent investigation and Steinhoff on December 5 announced that it had approached PwC to perform an independent investigation into potential accounting irregularities that had been identified and required further investigation.

Bam said Deloitte was not in a position to finalise its audit of the 2017 consolidated financial statements of Steinhoff because it required further information and answers to do so and awaited the findings or outcomes of the PwC investigation.

“Due to our client confidentiality obligations, as well as the ongoing investigation, Deloitte is unable to comment any further,” he said.

Botha added that it was very puzzling that Steinhoff chief executive Markus Jooste had admitted there were financial irregularities, but that nobody else was involved.

“I don’t know how the chief executive falls on his sword and then nobody else,” he said.

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Botha said he got involved with the JD Group, in which Steinhoff acquired a majority stake in 2012 and delisted after buying out minority shareholders in 2015.