Steinhoff’s former CEO Markus Joost to face parliament next week

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Steinhioff’s former chief executive Markus Joost is due to appear before a parliamentary committee next week amid an investigation into the near-fatal accounting scandal.

Joost, who is under fraud investigation, will be grilled on his involvement in the major accounting scandal, which saw him step down after 30 years with the business last December.

Meanwhile the company’s former chief financial officer Ben Le Grange, who stepped down in January during the height of the scandal, has denied any wrongdoing.

Speaking to the parliamentary committee today, Le Grange said: “From my side, I also do not think I did anything deliberately wrong.”

In January Joost was reported to South Africa’s Directorate of Priority Crime Investigation unit, an elite police unit reserved for the highest tier of criminality, including corruption and organised commercial crime, by his former company.

The Poundland and Bensons for Beds owner was embroiled in an accounting scandal last December, which saw its share prices collapse 90 per cent, revealing a £5.3 billion accounting black hole and having to reinstate its accounts stretching as far back as 2015.

Despite the substantial losses of around £530 million reported in July, Steinhoff has been given the green light by its creditors on “key commercial terms” allowing it to push forward with its €10 billion (£8.85 million) debt restructuring plan.

This comes after numerous legal challenges to both the company itself and its auditors Deloitte over the accounting scandal.

Dutch investment group VEB have brought a lawsuit against Deloitte, alleging it had “seriously failed in its statutory task as auditor”.

Former chairman Christo Wiese also announced he was also suing the group, hoping to claim £3.5 billion from cancelling purchases of its shares in 2015 and 2016.

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