This week’s abrupt resignation of Heather Sonn as chair of Steinhoff, with the company still reeling from a R100bn-plus accounting fraud scandal dating back three years, came as a surprise.

Though some observers say Sonn is probably a victim of a complex web of dodgy transactions that brought Steinhoff to the brink of collapse, the saga raises uncomfortable questions about steps the former chair took to find out everything it could about the firm the company she partly owns was buying.  

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