Rob Rose Editor: Financial Mail

If you’re looking for a crash course in executive moral relativism, you might want to spend a few hours watching the recording of Markus Jooste testifying in parliament last week. There is a moment, early on, when Steinhoff’s former CEO is testifying about his anger at the retailer’s auditor, Deloitte, saying it’s not going to sign off the accounts, and that it wants a new forensic investigation into allegations of fraud. The background is that over the preceding months, Deloitte had been tipped off to "irregularities" within Steinhoff’s accounts. (You know: overstated revenues, forged documents, inflated asset values.) So Deloitte demands another forensic investigation. How does Jooste respond? Perhaps to say to Deloitte: "By all means — here are the keys to the office, go wild"? Well, no. Instead, as he explained: "My personal view was that Deloitte’s mandate should be terminated at that moment in time and we should appoint alternative auditors." That new auditor, he said, would t...

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