Rob Rose Editor: Financial Mail

Two of the directors of Steinhoff — Sanlam chairman Johan van Zyl and accounting expert Len Konar — say former CEO Markus Jooste "misled" the furniture retailer’s board. This is the first defence yet from any of Steinhoff’s directors against fiery accusations that the board was delinquent in overseeing the retailer’s management, thereby opening the door to the country’s largest corporate fraud. Once one of the JSE’s top 10 stocks, Steinhoff’s market value shed R206bn in the weeks since Jooste quit on December 6 as "accounting irregularities" emerged. This week, institutional shareholder Coronation (which holds 5.2% of Steinhoff) described the "failure" of the board as frustrating, while Wits University’s Prof Jannie Rossouw wrote an open letter calling on the board to quit.It is understood that Jooste sent an SMS to some of the nonexecutive directors, apologising for having got the company into such a mess. He added in that message that he did not have the courage to meet those dire...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now