File image: Christo Wiese. IOL.

CAPE TOWN - The pre-payment of R4.8 billion worth of shares that former Steinhoff Chairperson, Christo Wiese received from the retailer is legitimate according to Dutch law which leaves Wiese a now free man. 

Business Day said on Thursday that Wiese came under fire for receiving the colossal payment just weeks before Steinhoff collapsed. The embattled former chairman has previously said that the pre-payment was legitimate. 

However, Steinhoff International Holdings said that the two 2017 payments which Wiese received did not follow proper governance. 

According to a company statement, the retailer further stated that it investigated the payments and was currently in the process of being reimbursed. 

However, because the retailer is registered in Holland, this means that Wiese’s pre-payment is well above board and does not contravene the company’s Dutch law. 

Dutch law does not require any oversight when loans or financial assistance is provided for directors, unlike SA company law, Section 45 of the South African Companies Act. 

With Dutch law, all that is required is the approval from the management board when a loan is given to a director. 

Steinhoff articles of association also reportedly deem loans to directors as not representing any conflict of interest. 

READ ALSO: Steinhoff says payments to ex-chairman broke company rules

Meanwhile, the global retailer came under fire last week on the payment of bonuses to some members of the board. 

The group said its supervisory board took note of the concerns raised by stakeholders and has decided to delete sections relating to additional payments for independent directors from the resolution on director remuneration which is to be considered at the company’s annual general meeting (AGM) to be held on April 20.

Steinhoff was set to pay Steve Booysen and Heather Sonn an additional R2.91million each. Johan van Zyl was due to be paid a large amount of money.

ALSO READ: Christo Wiese says Steinhoff payments were legitimate - Report

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- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE