Rob Rose Editor: Financial Mail

On Monday, a remarkable thing happened in Zwolle, about 80km from Amsterdam — and it’s perhaps the closest we’ve come to getting any accountability for the mammoth R106bn fraud at retailer Steinhoff. There, in the Accountantskamer, Deloitte’s former auditor Patrick Seinstra choked back tears while defending himself in a disciplinary case brought against him by the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) for signing Steinhoff’s deeply rotten 2016 accounts.

Dutch newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad (FD), which covered the hearing, described Seinstra as "visibly emotional" during the hearing. When it was his turn, Seinstra spoke of himself as a "defeated accountant" who did his best, in the face of immense odds, to uncover the "hard lies" of a triple-A fraud which ultimately "cost me my career"...

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