Steinhoff audit committee chair 'must go' - union

20 April 2018 - 12:00
By Petru Saal
Steinhoff office in Stellenbosch. File Photo.
Image: Steinhoff Steinhoff office in Stellenbosch. File Photo.

Trade union FEDUSA on Friday demanded that Steinhoff audit committee chairperson Steve Booysen resign over the corporate scandal that torpedoed the global retailer’s share price.

The union’s general secretary Dennis George said: “We hope and demand that the board will resign.”

He was speaking in Cape Town‚ where a picket is being held to coincide with the company’s annual general meeting‚ being held in the Netherlands. The AGM was scheduled to be live streamed at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC). The union is picketing outside the CTICC.

“For us the most important thing is for stakeholders to raise our objections to what happened at Steinhoff‚” George said.

FEDUSA said in a statement that the union would take up the issue of the appointment of a new board following last year’s accounting irregularities levelled against Steinhoff’s former CEO‚ Markus Jooste. Jooste has subsequently resigned from the company. The trade union said the corporate scandal resulted in “95 percent wiped off its share value‚ made up mostly of public servants’ pensions”.

In a letter to Steinhoff’s acting chairperson Heather Sonn‚ the union demanded that Booysen and his cohorts “do the honourable thing and fall on their own swords”. Booysen‚ as head of audit‚ must have known about the scandal that saw the company’s share price tumble.

The union said it was clear that Steinhoff and its shareholders were the victim of a “major corporate fraud‚ the largest in SA history”.