Disgraced former Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste has died

The former chief executive of Steinhoff, Markus Jooste. Picture: Armand Hough/ Independent Newspapers.

The former chief executive of Steinhoff, Markus Jooste. Picture: Armand Hough/ Independent Newspapers.

Published Mar 21, 2024


Disgraced former CEO of Steinhoff International, Markus Jooste has died on Thursday.

Jooste’s passing comes just a day after the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) imposed a R475 million penalty on him, after concluding that he contributed to the publication of misleading or deceptive financial statements about the company.

According to reports, it is believed that the mastermind behind the Steinhoff scandal that rocked the financial world, shot himself during arrest.

Police officials said, “We can confirm that Hermanus SAPS opened an inquest docket for further investigation following the death of a 63-year old man earlier today. Police were activated to attend to a shooting incident at about 2.40pm at Kwaaiwater Beach in Hermanus. The deceased succumbed to a fatal gunshot wound to the head shortly after arrival at a private hospital.”

Steinhoff found itself in an accounting scandal in 2017, with audit firm Deloitte confirming the accounting irregularities.

The accounting fraud at Steinhoff which included misrepresentation of its financial status, resulted in severe losses for South African investors.

The FSCA earlier this week issued a penalty of R475 million to Jooste after what it says was a “thorough" investigation.

The R475 million penalty against Jooste, which includes a R10 million reimbursement to the FSCA for costs incurred in its investigations, has to be paid by April 19 and will attract an 11.75% interest until it is paid in full. Criminal proceedings are also being opened against Jooste by the FSCA.

“The investigation found that Jooste and Dirk Schreiber made or published false, misleading, or deceptive statements about Steinhoff International Holdings Limited and Steinhoff International Holdings NV, which they knew or ought reasonably to have known were false, misleading, or deceptive. Such publication included the omission of material facts,” the FSCA said on Wednesday.

Schreiber, who was chief finance officer for Steinhoff Europe however escaped financial sanctions from the FSCA as he had cooperated with investigations into the company’s accounting irregularities.

The FSCA said due to the extent of Schreiber's co-operation with the investigation, the FSCA was not imposing an administrative penalty on him.

The author of 'Steinheist' Rob Rose said in an interview on Newsroom Afrika, "I thought he was the guy who would fight this case till the end. I suppose there was a sense that things were closing in on him."

*This is a developing story.