Markus Jooste passed away


Markus Jooste, former CEO of Steinhoff, has died.

Newzroom Afrika and News24 report that several sources have confirmed that Jooste died on Thursday afternoon. According to Newzroom Afrika’s report, Jooste shot himself. No further information is known at this stage.

This comes in the same week that the Financial Conduct Authority (FSCA) fined Jooste R475 million.

Jooste had until April 19 to pay the fine. A criminal case on the issue has also already been filed.

The fine of R20 million for insider trading, previously imposed on Jooste by the FSCA, also had to be paid. Jooste challenged this fine in the High Court.

After a long investigation, the FSCA said on Wednesday that it found that Jooste and Steinhoff’s former European CFO, Dirk Schreiber, was responsible for publishing fraudulent statements about Steinhoff International’s financial position between 2014 and 2017.

This meant that investors were basing their decisions on false information. This led to losses of billions of rands, including by pension funds. Almost R200 billion worth of pension fund money and other investments were wiped out as investors realized the company’s financial statements had been manipulated.

A German court sentenced Schreiber to three and a half years in prison. A Regional Court in Oldenburg issued a warrant of arrest against Jooste after he did not show up for the fraud trial.

The Reserve Bank also froze Jooste’s assets.

Jooste resigned from Steinhoff at the end of 2017.