Picture: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg
JOHANNESBURG -  It seems there is no end in sight for the problems experienced by Steinhoff Africa Retail (STAR) subsidiary Tekkie Town, which has resorted to obtaining an urgent court order from the Western Cape High Court against four senior members of its previous management team. 

STAR said it interdicted the respondents from conducting certain actions against STAR, which include interference with the Tekkie Town information technology system and destabilising operations. 

The interdict stems from the resignation of former Tekkie Town chief executive Bernard Mostert last month, together with chief operating officer Dawie van Niekerk, other top management and 100 staff of Tekkie Town, arising from a claim lodged by the original founders and shareholders of Tekkie Town against STAR in respect of an earn-out agreement allegedly reached with Steinhoff International Holdings. 

The resignation of the previous team follows that of Braam van Huyssteen, who resigned almost six weeks ago from his role as chairperson of STAR’s property division. 

Van Huyssteen is also evicting STAR from his offices in George, in the Western Cape, but the group said that it was contesting the eviction. 

However, STAR did not mention the names of the previous executives on Friday, but chief executive Leon Lourens said it was regrettable that they had to take such legal action. 

“We remain focused on the continued success of STAR and Tekkie Town with our determined and committed team and will focus on continued growth. Our ethics and values have never changed and never will. We will continue to use the necessary legal process available to protect our business,” Lourens said. 

STAR has already put an interim management team led by Riaan van Rooyen, who is currently an operational director at Ackermans, STAR’s other subsidiary. Van Rooyen has been brought in to stabilise operations and to ensure continued trading in Tekkie Town stores. 

The interim management and support team, together with staff members who have remained in the business, continue to operate Tekkie Town in a stable manner. The supply chain is operational, all stores are trading and performance is in line with targeted levels. The performance of all other STAR businesses remains unaffected,” Lourens added.

 He said Tekkie Town continued to be an important part of STAR, operating more than 380 stores, and providing employment to more than 3 000 employees. Steinhoff International acquired Tekkie Town in September 2016. 

Steinhoff International is a major shareholder in STAR with a 71.01 percent stak

-BUSINESS REPORT