Ina Opperman

By Ina Opperman

Business Journalist

Secrecy surrounded Jooste’s big FSCA fine and arrest warrant

A warrant of arrest for Markus Jooste was issued on Wednesday, the same day that the FSCA revealed that it is fining him R475 million.

The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation and the National Prosecuting Authority secured arrest warrants for the lead suspects in the Steinhoff matter, Markus Jooste, former CEO and Stehan Grobler, former company secretary and head of legal, in secret on Wednesday.

According to a joint statement from the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the Directorate for Priority Crime (DPCI), the allegations in the warrants of arrest include fraud, a pattern of racketeering activities and contravention of the Financial Markets Act.

The NPA and DPCI teams worked closely together in a complex prosecution-guided collaboration that spanned multiple jurisdictions. Jooste and Grobler did not know that the entities were securing warrants of arrest.

Exit routes for Jooste and Grobler were first secured before their defence teams were informed to ensure that they do not leave the country, according to the statement.

ALSO READ: FSCA fines Markus Jooste R475 million, refers case to Hawks

Jooste and Grobler had to hand themselves over in Pretoria

Jooste and Grobler were instructed to hand themselves over at the Pretoria Central Police Station and then appear in the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Friday.

“After being notified of the arrest warrants, Jooste allegedly committed suicide on the afternoon of 21 March 2024. Grobler appeared in court on Friday morning on the charges,” the statement says.

The Financial Service Conduct Authority (FSCA) also did not inform the media ahead of a press conference on Wednesday that Unathi Kamlana, FSCA commissioner, would announce that the investigation was complete and that an administrative penalty would be imposed on Jooste.

The FSCA found that Jooste contravened section 81(1)(a) and (b) of the Financial Markets Act. The contraventions were regarding Steinhoff’s annual financial statements and annual reports for the financial years from 2014 to 2016 and the 2017 half year.

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