It must have been excruciating for representatives of the Le Toit Trust to listen to former Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste’s legal team spend 30 minutes arguing about the precise value that underpinned the R740m damages claim the Trust had lodged against Jooste. Was it the market value? The true value? Or the true market value?

For those unencumbered by legal training, which includes the majority of the hundreds of thousands of investors who became significantly poorer in December 2017, the value issue was obvious. In November 2017 they could sell their Steinhoff shares for R65 apiece; by April 2018 they would have received no more than R1.20.

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