Shareholder activist Theo Botha says the collapse of Steinhoff raises questions about the King codes of corporate governance, which were meant to prevent governance failures of the kind seen at Steinhoff and African Bank. He says they have not brought the necessary levels of transparency and accountability because boards pay lip service to the codes without complying with them. Botha says the major weakness of the King codes is around the tenure and independence of directors. "King IV is wishy-washy on independence. Directors are on the boards for way too long and as far as I am concerned they lose their independence. "In the UK there's a nine-year rule. After nine years on the board you're gone, or classified as not independent."20 years The length of Len Konar's tenure on the Steinhoff boardCompanies say they can't afford to lose the institutional memory and experience of long-serving directors. "How long does it take you to learn the business?" asks Botha. "That's why you have su...

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