The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) is taking legal action to compel Steinhoff to hand over PwC’s extensive report on what went wrong at the retail conglomerate.
Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance has been told that the PIC believes the report is critical for it to pursue directors fingered in the scandal.
Steinhoff is refusing to hand over the report, on the basis that this could compromise civil and criminal proceedings against implicated persons, including former Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste.
Steinhoff, whose share price collapsed after fraud allegations surfaced and Jooste quit in December 2017, is also the target of probes by the Hawks and the National Prosecuting Authority but nobody has yet been brought to book.
The PIC, which manages around R2 trillion in assets – much of the current and retired civil servants’ pension savings, was among those hardest hits by Steinhoff’s share-price collapse, with its total exposure now reckoned at around R24 billion.
Head of the PIC’s legal services Lindiwe Dlamini has told Parliament court papers will be filed “soon” in a bid to get Steinhoff to hand over the report of the investigation it commissioned PwC to do as the extent of the scandal became known.
“We did issue a letter of demand to Steinhoff about two weeks ago, requesting this report – failure of which, we are in the process of launching our application to compel Steinhoff to release that report.”
Dlamini said in order to pursue any action against any past directors of Steinhoff, it needed to have all the relevant information.