Rob Rose Editor: Financial Mail

Braam van Huyssteen, the 53-year-old founder of Tekkie Town, has some pretty unpleasant things to say about the sordid governance at Steinhoff Africa Retail (Star), the company that split off from Steinhoff in 2017. Van Huyssteen is gruff and direct — as you’d expect from a man who built a billion-rand shoe empire from the southern Cape town of Mossel Bay with just R20,000 borrowed from his family in 1989. It’s a story that led to him following in the footsteps of Adrian Gore and Brian Joffe to be picked SA’s entrepreneur of the year in 2011. Van Huyssteen’s bad luck was bumping into Markus Jooste, Steinhoff’s former CEO, on the racetrack years ago. They got on so famously that, in 2016, Steinhoff paid R3.2bn to buy Tekkie Town from Van Huyssteen and the 1,100 staff who owned it. Disastrously, Jooste paid them in Steinhoff shares. More disastrously, a lock-in clause prevented them from selling any of those shares until 2019. As Steinhoff’s stock has plunged 97% since December, you c...

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