Daily Insider: Gary Harlow explains how he got pulled into Jooste Media Frenzy

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In the many years we’ve known each other I’ve never seen high-profile entrepreneur Gary Harlow in the state he was in when visiting the BizNews studio yesterday. Harlow, a chartered accountant who was ANC long before it became fashionable among white businessmen, is in the middle of a media frenzy around the freezing of Markus Jooste’s billions. He agreed to offer his side of the story in a riveting interview. Click here to watch.

The way Harlow tells it, two weeks after the Steinhoff collapse, the near-suicidal former Steinhoff CEO asked him to look after the Jooste family should anything befall him. So, Harlow agreed to become an unpaid trustee of Silveroak, the family trust, which for the past four years has been selling Jooste’s assets to pay legal bills and feed the family.

Last week the Western Cape High Court granted an order for the SA Reserve Bank to seize any asset linked to the former Steinhoff CEO. That triggered Tuesday morning’s surprise raid on the Hermanus mansion where the Joostes live. Also, gave the SARB right to take control of the family trust of which Harlow and former Phumelela CEO Rian du Plessis are Trustees.

The obvious question is why is SARB making the running in the case against Jooste – not the National Prosecuting Authority or the Hawks? For one thing, SA needs to do something fast to show it takes financial controls seriously or risk ‘greylisting’ next February. For another, proving someone broke exchange control regulations is much easier than unravelling complex financial structures. They got Al Capone on tax evasion, didn’t they?

On the record: Markus Jooste’s trustee opens up on SARB’s R4.8bn asset raid
SA businessman Gary Harlow, named in High Court papers which sanctioned yesterday’s seizure of Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste’s assets, says he will help the authorities in anyway possible. In this interview with Alec Hogg of BizNews, Harlow explains how shortly after the Steinhoff implosion in 2017 he agreed to become a trustee of Silveroak, Jooste’s family trust. He also unpacks the history of his relationship with SA’s biggest corporate fraudster – and shares what happened at Silveroak during the past four years of his trusteeship.

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