Christo Wiese, the billionaire chairman of Steinhoff ­Holdings. Picture: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg
CAPE TOWN - The former chairman of Steinhoff , Christo Wiese, told parliament on Wednesday that the accounting scandal at the company “came like a bolt from the blue”.

Wiese said he became aware of problems at Steinhoff three working days before the company’s accounts had to finalised for a board meeting in December. He said Steinhoff was in “absolute turmoil” at the time.

Earlier today, Parliament heard that former Steinhoff CEO and shareholder Markus Jooste was reported to the Hawks, from acting chairperson Heather Sonn.

He was reported for suspected offences under the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Practices Act. According to reports, he was reported on Tuesday by Steinhoff’s audit committee, Steve Booysen.

"Based on our investigation to date, we have reported the former CEO Markus Jooste to the Hawks in terms of section 31 (b) of the Precca [Prevention and Combatting of Corrupt Activities Act] on suspicion he has committed offences," said Steinhoff acting chairwoman Heather Sonn while briefing three parliamentary committees.

"The matter is now under the Hawks for further investigation and prosecution."