JOHANNESBURG - Steinhoff former chief executive Markus Jooste has agreed to appear before Parliament next week, on condition the hearing focuses on flaws in the financial industry that may have caused the retailer’s shares to collapse.
Jooste has repeatedly refused to give evidence to parliamentary committee members, with his lawyer saying he is no longer a Steinhoff employee and therefore cannot speak on behalf of the company.
David Maynier, the DA's spokesperson on finance, said in emailed comments: “It’s bizarre that Markus Jooste will be now be summoned to assist in identifying flaws and challenges in the regulation of the financial system. We are going to have to get to the bottom of how this happened.”
While the scope of his hearing will be limited, Jooste’s September 5 appearance before the finance committee in Cape Town is likely to attract considerable interest because he has not spoken publicly since the eruption of the accounting scandal.
Steinhoff has referred its former chief executive to the police, who are investigating three cases of fraud relating to the company.
Jooste’s deal with Parliament was released in a court ruling Tuesday.
Ben La Grange, Steinhoff’s former chief financial officer, will answer questions on Wednesday. He was suspended by the company last week alongside former Company Secretary Stehan Grobler has part of a long-running probe into the financials.