File image: DA MP David Maynier. IOL.

CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance’s Shadow Minister of Finance, David Maynier's request to the Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Finance, Yunus Carrim to schedule public hearings on the scandal surrounding Steinhoff, has not been responded to.

In an open letter to the Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Finance, Yunus Carrim on December 11, 2017, Maynier requested the public hearings on the scandal surrounding retail holding company, Steinhoff. 

However, the Minister says that he had not received a formal reply to his request. Instead, a public statement was issued on December 12, 2017 which said that the committee was assume an oversight role. 

“Working with the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, the Committee will play a full oversight role and will call the regulatory bodies, the National Treasury, the PIC, GEPF, Steinhoff representatives and any other stakeholders to account to Parliament as soon as it reconvenes in late January 2018”, said the statement. 

The Minister says his request comes after he observed that the scandal at the holdings company had significantly snowballed. 

Among the unfolding that occurred was the resignation of the Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Dr Christo Wiese, on 15 December 2017. Also, the resignation of the Chief Financial Officer, Mr Ben la Grange, on 4 January 2018 and  the news that the 2015 financial statements could no longer be relied upon and would have to be restated.

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Following the Minister’s prior request, he has followed it with another appeal. “I have, therefore, written to the Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Finance, Yunus Carrim, requesting him to confirm that the public hearings will go ahead and to provide further particulars on the public hearings, including the names of witnesses that will be invited to appear at the public hearings and the dates on which the public hearings will take place in Parliament”, says Maynier. 

The Minister says that it is important to collectively ensure that members of the Supervisory Board and the Management Board of Steinhoff International Holdings N.V appear before the finance committee in Parliament. 

“We need to know what they knew, when they knew it, and what they did about it when it came to “accounting irregularities” at Steinhoff International Holdings N.V”.

“‘We need to be tough on crime in the public sector, and tough on crime in the private sector, and that is why we need to get stuck into what may be one of the biggest corporate scandals in the history of South Africa”, concludes Maynier. 

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