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Almost five years after Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste’s industrial scale fraud was uncovered, the net has finally tightened around SA’s biggest corporate fraudster. A BizNews community member from Hermanus informed us: “I drove past Markus’s house in Voelklip this morning and he was having lots of guests. First time I have ever seen visitors. Rumours are he is just about to start building his new home at ‘Markus se gat’ – the R40m plot on the Hermanus beach in front of (the late Anglo CEO) Gavin Relly’s old property.” Those rumours were massively wide of the mark. Jooste won’t be investing in anything sizeable anytime soon – and the apparent guests at his mansion were either lawyers or agents of the State who have attached the property along with various other assets including luxury vehicles, the Lanzerac wine farm and jewellery belonging to Jooste’s wife Ingrid, a regular player at the local Hermanus Golf Club.
By John Bowker and Janice Kew
(Bloomberg) – Markus Jooste, the former chief executive officer of scandal-hit Steinhoff International Holdings NV, has had certain assets held or linked to him frozen by South Africa’s reserve bank, according to court documents.
These include a wine farm in Stellenbosch and a property in the coastal town of Hermanus where the 61-year-old is understood to have been living, according to the papers filed at the High Court in Cape Town. Various other assets are also included.
The move represents a potential advance in the painstaking process of bringing charges against Jooste, who numerous legal authorities, regulatory probes and lawsuits have pointed to as the architect of the accounting scandal that engulfed retailer Steinhoff in late 2017.
Shares in the company collapsed after financial irregularities were identified, and, while the firm has survived, it exists as a shell of the former global behemoth over which Jooste presided.
The legal action was first reported by the Daily Maverick website.
The South African Reserve Bank confirmed in an email on Tuesday that it had executed the High Court’s order to attach assets linked to Jooste.
Jooste didn’t respond to a text message seeking comment.
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