FSCA can demand a huge fine from Jooste estate


The Financial Conduct Authority (FSCA) says the death of Markus Jooste, former head of the Steinhoff Group, has no effect on the authority’s ongoing investigation into the now collapsed company.

Jooste killed himself at his home in Hermanus on Thursday afternoon.

“The investigation continues because there are other parties involved who are also being investigated,” says a statement from the authority. “The authority will also continue to assist the Hawks and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) with any investigation that may be underway.”

The NPA confirmed on Friday that warrants had been issued earlier this week for the arrest of Jooste, as well as for Stephanus Johannes Grobler, a co-director of Steinhoff. Grobler already appeared in the specialized commercial crime court in Pretoria on Friday.

The NPA and the Falcons have recently worked closely together in their investigation into alleged irregularities at the Steinhoff group.

The FSCA also imposed a fine of R475 million on Jooste on Tuesday. He had until April 19 to pay the almost half a billion, although he could appeal against the fine.

The fine stemmed from a comprehensive investigation into the actions of Jooste and Dirk Schreiber, former CFO of Steinhoff, at the company. Despite a finding that he also violated the Financial Markets Act, the authorities were of the opinion that he did cooperate with the investigation and Schreiber was therefore not fined in terms of a cooperation agreement.

According to the FSCA, Jooste and Schreiber published false or misleading statements about Steinhoff International Holdings Limited and Steinhoff International Holdings NV. The authority also found they had breached legislation with the two entities’ financial statements and annual reports for the financial years 2014 to 2016 and the 2017 half-year period.

May claim against estate

The FSCA says that because the fine was already imposed on him at the time of his death, Jooste’s death does not change its effect.

“The FSCA is legally entitled to pay the fine of the late Mr. to recover Jooste’s estate. A decision on the issue of whether the authority will make a claim against the estate will be taken at the appropriate time. This will be done taking into account all the relevant circumstances.”