Parliament, Tuesday, 3 December 2019 – Having been briefed on the progress report with regard to the Steinhoff matter by the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) and Government Employee Pension Fund (GEPF), the Standing Committee on Finance has expressed displeasure with the slow pace to recover the R20 billion which was lost in Steinhoff.
The committee maintained that both the PIC and GEPF should take responsibility and follow all the processes to recover the money. It, however, took exception to Steinhoff’s refusal to release an audit report regarding the company’s financial decline.
“The posture of Steinhoff with regard to the PriceWaterCoopersaudit report is concerning and gives an impression that management seems to believe that they did nothing wrong. We would like to assure them that Parliament will take them head-on with regard to this matter, even if it means that summons be issued to subpoena the report,” said Mr Joe Maswanganyi, the Chairperson of the committee.
The PIC told the committee that it has appointed Grant and Eisenhofer P.A. (G&E) to institute a class action lawsuit against Steinhoff and its related parties in the Amsterdam Court of Appeals Enterprise Chamber. The G&E filed a petition with the Dutch Court for an independent judicial inquiry. However, the petition is on hold, pending mediated settlement negotiations between G&E and Steinhoff.
Meanwhile, the GEPF told the committee that it has put corrective measures in place as a form of consequence management to the PIC, following the R20 billion loss. One of the measures include the fact that the PIC should consult with the GEPF before making an investment of R2 billion and more.
“The GEPF needs to exercise active oversight on the PIC in order to ensure that management does not have powers to approve big investment transactions that may have huge financial implications,” said Mr Maswanganyi.
The committee will meet again with the PIC and the GEPF in the new year to hear the results of the mediated settlement negotiations and the next course of action.
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE STANDING COMMITTEE ON FINANCE, MR JOE MASWANGANYI.
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