For Steinhoff investors, who have lost large chunks of their wealth, the 20 months since its collapse have created the galling spectre of a "heads I win, tails you lose" audit industry.

During the 2018 financial year, the furniture retailer was forced to cough up R2.4bn for forensic and ordinary auditors, as well as advisers who were cleaning up after a decade or more of rogue accounting by senior executives inside and outside the business.

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