FSCA hopes to recover R475m penalty from late Markus Jooste’s estate

The former CEO of Steinhoff, Markus Jooste. Picture Henk Kruger/ Independent Newspapers.

The former CEO of Steinhoff, Markus Jooste. Picture Henk Kruger/ Independent Newspapers.

Published Mar 22, 2024


On Friday, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) said that it has noted the death of Jooste and it will not have an impact on its investigation.

The authority said that the investigation into the Steinhoff matter will continue and the penalty imposed on the disgraced former CEO can be recovered from Jooste’s estate.

In a statement, the FSCA said, “The investigation will continue as there are other investigated parties involved. The Authority will also continue to assist the Hawks and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) with any investigations they may have underway. As the penalty on the late Jooste in his personal capacity was already imposed at the time of his death, his passing does not impact on the penalty. The FSCA is legally entitled to recover the penalty from the estate of the late Jooste. Whether the Authority will claim against the estate will be decided at the appropriate time, taking into account all the relevant circumstances.”

This comes after Jooste took his own life just a day after the FSCA imposed a R475 million penalty on him, after concluding that he contributed to the publication of misleading or deceptive financial statements about the company.

Steinhoff found itself in an accounting scandal in 2017, with audit firm Deloitte confirming the accounting irregularities.

The accounting fraud at Steinhoff which included misrepresentation of its financial status, resulted in severe losses for South African investors.

The FSCA earlier this week issued a penalty of R475 million to Jooste after what it says was a “thorough" investigation.

The R475 million penalty against Jooste, which includes a R10 million reimbursement to the FSCA for costs incurred in its investigations, has to be paid by April 19 and will attract an 11.75% interest until it is paid in full. Criminal proceedings are also being opened against Jooste by the FSCA.

“The investigation found that Jooste and Dirk Schreiber made or published false, misleading, or deceptive statements about Steinhoff International Holdings Limited and Steinhoff International Holdings NV, which they knew or ought reasonably to have known were false, misleading, or deceptive. Such publication included the omission of material facts,” the FSCA said on Wednesday.

Schreiber, who was chief finance officer for Steinhoff Europe however escaped financial sanctions from the FSCA as he had cooperated with investigations into the company’s accounting irregularities.

The FSCA said due to the extent of Schreiber's co-operation with the investigation, the FSCA was not imposing an administrative penalty on him.