A group of Steinhoff International’s directors created fictitious structures and deals that inflated the company’s profits by €6.5bn (R106.2bn) in the years leading up to its collapse in SA’s biggest corporate scandal to date. The 14-month forensic probe conducted by PwC didn’t identify any culprits by name, but said a “senior management executive” instructed a “small number” of other executives to execute the deals, conducted between 2009 and 2017. This was often done “with the assistance of a small number of persons not employed by” Steinhoff, the auditing firm said. Steinhoff’s board launched the investigation after the emergence of “accounting irregularities” in December 2017 led to the collapse of the company’s share price, leading to investors losing about R200bn in value. Then Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste resigned after the revelations. The PwC report did not specifically name Jooste as the key figure behind the fraud, noting that Jooste and “certain other individuals” have no...

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