Steinhoff: “The spirit of selective disclosure lives on”

Steinhoff and Pepkor today applied for leave to appeal against the interim interdict obtained over Steinhoff by the former owners of Tekkie Town.

The interdict granted by Judge Nathan Erasmus in the Western Cape High Court in April this year prevents Steinhoff and its subsidiaries from taking any actions that will prevent the return of a controlling interest in and the business of Tekkie Town to its former founder and management until such time as the main case has been determined.

In their submissions and during oral argument, the legal teams of Steinhoff and its subsidiary Pepkor steered far clear from any mention of the monstrous fraud which underpinned Steinhoff’s false value for many years.

“Certainly if there is one aspect of Steinhoff that has not changed pre- and post the discovery of the fraud is that the culture of selective disclosure lives on,” said former Tekkie Town CEO Bernard Mostert.

“Steinhoff and Pepkor present themselves in one way but their actual actions suggest something completely different. Immediately after we obtained the interdict Pepkor publicly came out in several forums and said that the interdict had no bearing on them and that it was only interim in nature. During this morning’s hearing, Pepkor was at pains to explain to the judge that the order was final in its effect and therefore appealable, as well as having far-reaching effects on the conduct of its business. This blatant approach is quite astounding but in keeping with Steinhoff’s strategy to promise South Africa full disclosure of their forensic investigation and then come out with a “report of a report”. To date, no one has been prosecuted for their actions. The main reason for this is because Steinhoff determines timelines seemingly in order for a key group of stakeholders to continue profiting from the company and the fruits of its poisonous tree.”

Steinhoff’s counsel also attempted to emphasize that Steinhoff has no direct control over Pepkor. “This in itself contradicts all Steinhoff’s updates on their businesses to date,” said Mostert.

In giving reasons for granting the interdict Judge Erasmus said; “The applicants made out a proper case for both urgency and the harm they seek to prevent is apparent.”

Tekkie Town founder Braam van Huyssteen said; “We remain focussed on restoring our interest and control of Tekkie Town and to continue building it free from a cloud of controversy and from the grasp of people who themselves are suing Steinhoff for false misrepresentation. We are highly confident that we will eventually succeed in our goal and that this will set a much-needed example in South Africa that you cannot escape the actions of injustice and that you cannot profit from stolen goods.”

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