Steinhoff's Dr Christo Weise has resigned as chairman of the troubled retail group amidst accounting scandal
JOHANNESBURG – Troubled retail group Steinhoff said on Friday its chairman and major shareholder Christo Wiese had stepped down amid an accounting scandal that has also seen its chief executive quit and its shares plunge.
“Dr Christo Wiese, Chairman of the Supervisory Board and Delegated Supervisory Chairman, today offered to resign from the Supervisory Board,” Steinhoff said in a statement dated Thursday but sent out via the JSE security exchange’s information service on Friday.
“Dr Wiese made this offer in order to reinforce the independent governance of the Company of which he is a major shareholder.”
Steinhoff said its supervisory board had accepted Wiese’s resignation to address any possible conflict of interest that may exist and that he had offered to provide any ongoing assistance that may be required by the company.
Group CEO Markus Jooste resigned last week after the company said it had uncovered accounting irregularities, prompting a heavy sell-off that slashed more than 80 percent off the value of its shares.
The retail firm, which has its primary listing in Frankfurt, said on Thursday its 2016 consolidated financial statements would need to be restated and could no longer be relied upon.
Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba was due to meet business leaders and officials from the JSE, Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF), Public Investment Corporation (PIC), South African Revenue Service, Financial Services Board and the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors over the Steinhoff debacle on Friday.
South African labour unions say billions of rands worth of workers’ pensions have been lost over the past week or so, through the GEPF and PIC’s investments in Steinhoff.
African News Agency (ANA)