South Africa

Markus Jooste wants his day in court

Markus Jooste’s friend and his family trust Silveroaks trustee Rian du Plessis says the former Steinhoff CEO is keen to have his day in court.

Steinhoff collapsed in December 2017 after news broke of major accounting irregularities in Steinhoff’s financial statements.

Jooste resigned as Steinhoff CEO on 6 December 2019 and disappeared from public life after that.

Over the last five years, many investors and business partners who lost money were waiting for justice, but there have been no criminal charges against Jooste.

Many people blamed an incompetent National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for the delay in justice, but others highlighted that it is a difficult case to build.

Former Steinhoff chairman and Jooste business partner Christo Wiese expects the former Steinhoff CEO to adopt a Stalingrad defence style and delay his prosecution.

However, Du Plessis said he has no reason to believe that Jooste will try to delay legal proceedings by adopting a Stalingrad approach.

Commenting on the state of mind of Jooste, Du Plessis said nobody who spends their days with lawyers defending themselves would be in great spirits.

However, he said Jooste is strong and is determined to get his day in court.

He added that Jooste is under strict instruction from his lawyers not to reply to the press and “play a press game”.