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Steinhoff's former CFO Ben La Grange to appear before Parliament

Aug 29 2018 07:27
Fin24

Former Steinhoff Chief Financial Officer Ben la Grange will present evidence before a joint sitting of four Parliamentary committees on Wednesday, but will not be joined by his ex boss Markus Jooste. 

The embattled firm's share price has fallen by over 95% since early December 2017 when Jooste abruptly resigned after auditors uncovered irregularities in the conglomerate's books. These are still being investigated by PwC as part of an independent forensic audit. 

The committee hearing is set to being at 10:00 and continue until 16:00. 

La Grange resigned as Steinhoff's CFO in early January, roughly a month after Jooste left the company. At the time, the retailer said he would help finalise the group's audited financial statements. But last week, according to Bloomberg, the 43-year-old was suspended from this short term consultancy deal as well. 

He also resigned as the CEO of Steinhoff Africa Retail, now known as Pepkor Holdings.

The Speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete, had earlier authorised the oversight committee on finance to subpoena the two former executives to testify before Parliament on “institutional flaws and challenges” facing the country’s financial regulatory framework which may have given rise to the “Steinhoff debacle”.

Parliament previously said that its inquiry is "not a criminal investigation establishing criminal liability, nor is it a civil inquiry establishing civil liability of Steinhoff or its employees".

While La Grange and possibly other former or current Steinhoff staff will testify on Wednesday, Parliament said on Tuesday that Jooste had concluded an agreement to testify under oath on September 5.  

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