Jooste’s version is that Andreas Seifert, one of his former European partners, had complained to the German authorities in 2015, which led to the prosecutors cooking up a case against him. He said Deloitte had insisted on a forensic investigation into Seifert’s claims, which Jooste thought was unnecessary because the German law firm FGS had already found no evidence.

He said this would have delayed the release of Steinhoff’s audited results, which would have led to “dire consequences”. So he proposed firing Deloitte and hiring new auditors who would have been willing to sign off the accounts.

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