The South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) welcomes the court order granted in favour of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) to seize the assets of Markus Jooste. Preliminary reports indicate that SA Reserve Bank has seized Jooste’s assets on suspicion that he violated exchange controls at the time he led Steinhoff International.
Markus Jooste engineered a fraud – artificial inflation of Steinhoff profits and assets – which precipitated the greatest corporate scandal of the recent period, in the wake of which Steinhoff’s share price crashed by 95% (according to the Daily Maverick).
In that corporate crash, the government pension holder, the Government Employee Pension Fund (GEPF), lost more than R20 billion. Primarily for this reason, SAFTU has vested interest in the matter – to bring Jooste and his accomplices to book.
Further, Steinhoff is the latest incident that shattered the myth often peddled by the pro-capitalists that private enterprises are not corrupt and are always efficient. Steinhoff became an example that affirmed PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)’s repetitive reports that have indicated that the SA capitalist class is the most corrupt elite in the world. Beyond SA, the capitalist class is the most corrupt section of the population globally as has been demonstrated by the volume of illicit financial flows ripped out of Africa and the rest of the neo-colonial world.
Due to our stance against corruption and that more than R20 billion of public service workers’ pensions were lost, we want a warrant of arrest to be issued against Markus Jooste. Other executives who were directly involved in the fraud must also have their assets seized and be arrested.