Steinhoff probe ’not affected by R30m donation’
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Cape Town - The National Prosecuting Authority and the Hawks have come under fire from Parliament over a donation by Steinhoff while the agencies were probing the company of fraud and corruption.
But the two agencies defended the decision, saying there was nothing untoward about the donation.
This comes after it was reported that Steinhoff had given the Hawks R30 million to conduct an investigation.
Hawks head Godfrey Lebeya said their investigations would not be compromised and the auditing firm, PwC, would finalise its report into Steinhoff at the end of the month.
NPA head Shamila Batohi said PwC would not share its information with any former Steinhoff board members and executive managers.
She said they had put in place various measures to prevent any compromise to the investigation.
“PwC has signed a certificate in terms of section 4 of the Protection of Information Act and so it provides against any disclosures of confidential information during this forensic investigation. In addition to that, the findings will be supported by independent objective evidence such as bank statements, journals, databases, e-mails, memos, etc. They have also agreed taking into consideration the consequences of section 4 of the Protection of Information Act, no evidence obtained during this criminal investigation will be divulged, even to Steinhoff, for the purposes of civil litigation. This is not unusual and it has been thoroughly thought through by the prosecutors and investigators,” said Batohi.
Lebeya said the work done by the PwC was not cost to the state.
He said they would not receive money from Steinhoff.
“We are not receiving any R30m from Steinhoff. We are getting these services at no cost to the State,” said Lebeya.
He said they had received a number of witnesses in the case of Steinhoff and that they hoped to finalise the investigation soon. This would enable the NPA to enrol the matter in court.
The Standing Committee on Public Accounts said it did not make sense that Steinhoff would inject cash into an investigation against it.
Scopa chairperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa said they would need another time with the NPA and the Hawks to further discuss the matter.
He said they would also need a monthly report from the two agencies on their investigation into Steinhoff.
He said the investigation has been going on for far too long.
“The matter has been protracted. This Steinhoff matter can’t be lingering on, and it goes back to the issue of the funding perception point of view,” said Hlengwa.
“We must not be seen as selective in how the oversight is done.”