GT Ferreira, widely acknowledged as one of the sharpest business brains ever produced in SA, is hurting plenty. The man who in 1977 co-founded Rand Merchant Bank and FirstRand with just R10,000 in capital, alongside Laurie Dippenaar and Paul Harris, is one of the most high-profile of the Steinhoff victims. Ferreira (70) and the farmworkers on his wine estate Tokara, which is on the Helshoogte Pass about 5km outside Stellenbosch, have lost more than R1.2bn due to the 97% plunge in Steinhoff’s share price since 2015, when they invested. Though reluctant to discuss it, Ferreira admits it’s been exceptionally painful. "At first, when I found out what happened and the share fell, I went through so many emotions. Shock, disbelief, disappointment, disillusionment, anger — but mostly, self-doubt and self-recrimination. You start to ask yourself how it is possible you hadn’t seen what was happening." Years ago, Ferreira befriended Steinhoff’s former CEO, Markus Jooste, as well as other membe...

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