NPA shouldn’t be criticised for slow Steinhoff probe - Christo Wiese
Former Steinhoff chairperson Christo Wiese has reportedly told News24 that the National Prosecuting Authority shouldn’t be blamed for the slow pace of the Steinhoff probe. He said the case was complicated.
This comes after three top Steinhoff’s executives were charged on Thursday in Germany.
The public prosecutor’s office in Oldenburg, a town near Westerstede, where Steinhoff was founded, did not name the three former executives, reports suggest that the furniture company’s CEO, Markus Jooste, and its former chief for Europe, Dirk Schreiber, are among the three charged.
The charges carry a three-year imprisonment.
The probe into Steinhoff’s financial misdealing is two-fold, with the other part being conducted by South Africa’s crack investigation unit, the Hawks.
Wiese, who served as the chairperson of the furniture company’s supervisory board in 2016- 2017, told the publication that people should not blame the NPA for not having arrested the executives as yet. He said the Germans have taken almost five years to conduct their investigation.
The NPA has been criticised for being slow in prosecuting Steinhoff’s executives, due to what it said was a lack of funds.
Political party the Economic Freedom Fighters, on Wednesday, questioned Justice Minister Ronald Lamola on why the executives haven’t been arrested.
Steinhoff has since offered R30 million to the NPA to help with its forensic investigation, but the investigating unit has been called to question for its acceptance of the funds.
The EFF also condemned the NPA for accepting the funds from Steinhoff, citing a conflict of interest.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE