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There is progress with the Steinhoff investigation - NPA

4 March 2021 1:49 PM
Tags:
Steinhoff
steinhoff corruption
Steinhoff financial records
International Steinhoff Litigation Group
Steinheist: Markus Jooste, Steinhoff and SA’s biggest corporate fraud

Spokesperson Sipho Ngwema says bringing on PwC as investigators has given the National Prosecuting Authority a huge advantage.

It's been three years since the Steinhoff shares collapsed. We first heard about whispered financial irregularities in the company. Now, former CEO Markus Jooste might be facing criminal charges. Not yet in South Africa, though. A German magazine is reporting that the public prosecutor's office in the city of Oldenburg in Germany ihas completed a six-year criminal investigation into balance sheet manipulation.

The prosecutors were investigating Steinhoff, some of the senior managers, so, we could see a prosecution announced there.

But what about the South Africa investigation into Steinhoff?

Minister of Justice Ronald Lamola was in Parliament yesterday, defending the law-enforcement agencies' low pace of action. He said that it is not moving at a snail's pace but it is happening.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Sipho Ngwema sheds light on this.

We are continuing with the investigation. We know that with us bringing PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as investigators, that has given us a huge advantage in terms of moving the case forward. There is progress that is being made.

Sipho Ngwema, Spokesperson - National Prosecuting Authority

It is a commercial case, so it is complicated and will take time. Many of the people who are implicated in the report are no longer with the company.

Sipho Ngwema, Spokesperson - National Prosecuting Authority

On reports that Steinhoff has given investigators from the NPA and the Hawks R30-million to finance that investigation and whether this is not a conflict of interest, Ngwema many of the people who are implicated in the report are no longer with the company.

The company itself is now a complainant in the case. PwC were their auditors and we have a confidentiality agreement in terms of how they are going to deal with the investigations.

Sipho Ngwema, Spokesperson - National Prosecuting Authority

We have the same interest in terms of Steinhoff to get to the bottom of the matter so that those who are criminally liable are prosecuted. For now, our interests are aligned.

Sipho Ngwema, Spokesperson - National Prosecuting Authority

You need money, you need capacity to fight crime. Remember we eroded a lot of good people over the past 10 years or so. We need to bring those people back. We need to compete with the private sector in terms of bringing the skills and helping us build capacity.

Sipho Ngwema, Spokesperson - National Prosecuting Authority

However, we are not waiting for that, work continues as I said we bring in expertise as in the relationship that we have with PwC. The investigation is complex as you know that more than five countries are affected. We are trying tomake sure that by the time we are done with there is no stone unturned.

Listen below for the full interview...




4 March 2021 1:49 PM
Tags:
Steinhoff
steinhoff corruption
Steinhoff financial records
International Steinhoff Litigation Group
Steinheist: Markus Jooste, Steinhoff and SA’s biggest corporate fraud

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