Former Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste answers questions from MPs in parliament in Cape Town, September 5 2018. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER/SUNDAY TIMES

Recently, the international firms SAP, Steinhoff, KPMG, Bain and McKinsey, with their highly qualified, highly paid and highly decorated nonexecutive directors, had serious lapses of good corporate governance occurring under the watchful eyes of those directors.

Given the seriousness of the lapses, shouldn’t the directors be held accountable for their failure to fulfil one of their primary fiduciary responsibilities: to provide ethical leadership that fosters company-wide ethical culture? Listening to Markus Jooste’s pathetic "I don’t know this; I don’t know that" story in parliament, and that of Steinhoff chair Heather Sonn before him, I was left feeling the board never took seriously their responsibility to set the tone from the top.

Mpumelelo Ncwadi
Via e-mail

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