The Standing Committee on Finance met jointly with the Standing Committee on Public Accounts and the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration for a follow-up briefing on the Steinhoff matter. The Johannesburg Stock Exchange, Companies and Intellectual Properties Commission, Financial Sector Conduct Authority, Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors, the Hawks, and the National Prosecuting Authority briefed the Committee.
Steinhoff Holdings gave an update on developments within the group and on the PriceWaterhouseCooper forensic report which had recently been released. It indicated that the 14-month PriceWaterhouseCooper investigation was extremely complex. The complete report encompassed 14 000 pages, when annexes were included. 22 current and former directors had been interviewed. The global retailer had prioritised finalising its financial statements, completing a forensic report to uncover wrongdoing and was considering what legal processes to follow. Steinhoff remained in a precarious position. The aim was to ensure it could meet its debt obligations, keep operating companies in business and if possible, preserve value for shareholders. The group was still in a voluntary arrangement with creditors to ensure that operating companies could continue to operate. Steinhoff was working on a remedial plan following the findings of the PriceWaterhouseCooper investigation. The board had resolved to pursue claims against implicated parties. It would also pursue recovery of losses incurred and damages suffered.
The Johannesburg Stock Exchange told the Committees that disciplinary action had been taken against Steinhoff and its subsidiary Pepkor. The Stock Exchange had fined Steinhoff R1 million for failing to disclose a downgrade in the immediate aftermath of reports of its accounting irregularities. The Stock Exchange had similarly fined Pepkor R5 million. The Stock Exchange had submitted a report on its investigation into insider trading to the Financial Sector Conduct Authority. The Committees were informed about the Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s bid to strengthen listing and regulatory requirements. The Johannesburg Stock Exchange had issued a consultative document in September 2018, with the purpose of working on proposals for the Stock Exchange to strengthen its regulatory approach to new and existing listings. The document also provided information to enhance investor confidence in the secondary market trading of listed securities on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. The Stock Exchange could not freeze Steinhoff shares for not submitting its financials, as the company was dual-listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange which had said it would not freeze the group's shares. The Johannesburg Stock Exchange would still consult and consider the full PriceWaterhouseCooper report.
The Companies and Intellectual Property Commission said a compliance notice had been issued in January 2018, and Steinhoff had met the conditions. The compliance notice required Steinhoff to identify the individuals involved in the falsification of records, and to institute criminal and civil action against them within six months. The Companies and Intellectual Property Commission would definitely make applications to have the directors of Steinhoff declared delinquent which would prevent them being directors of any company boards. However, that could only happen when a court had found those responsible guilty. The Companies and Intellectual Property Commission was also looking into the Companies Act to consider a requirements for the inclusion of social and ethics committees in external companies.
The Financial Sector Conduct Authority was investigating three offences at Steinhoff: insider trading, market manipulation and false and misleading information. The investigations would be a high priority for the Financial Sector Conduct Authority over the next three to six months. The final stage would be to lay criminal charges with the police. The publication of false and misleading information was similar to fraud. The Financial Sector Conduct Authority was awaiting the full PriceWaterhouseCooper report. Potential penalties would be known once the investigation was complete.
The Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors said its own probe into Steinhoff was up until Steinhoff had published restated financial statements and the 2017/18 financial statement. The investigation of the Regulatory Board noted with concern the allegations regarding the nature and extent of the corporate fraud allegedly perpetrated by a small group of executives and related parties, the potential accounting irregularities, and the potential non-compliance with laws and regulations. The Regulatory Board would investigate Deloitte South Africa who had signed off on the group consolidated financial statements up to 2015.
The audit of the consolidated financial statements had been conducted by Deloitte Netherlands from 2016. The Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors did not have jurisdiction over those auditors. It was the Netherlands partner who had refused to sign off on the 2017 financials due to suspected accounting irregularities. A Memorandum of Understanding with the Netherlands was still in progress due to legal restrictions on the sharing of information. The Regulatory Board had to bear in mind that certain of the allegations might pertain to off-shore acquisitions and transactions, which might have been audited by a foreign audit firm.
The Hawks said that four complaints relating to the Steinhoff matter had been received, together with a report in terms of Section 34(1) of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act of 2004, and had been combined into one criminal investigation. The allegations were that Steinhoff Investments Holdings Ltd (SA) had been submitting false, misleading and/or deceptive financial statements in order to attract investors in contravention of the Financial Markets Act. Upon the allegations becoming known in December 2017, the value of the shares had dropped significantly, resulting in substantial prejudice to investors. The first phase of the investigation dealing with the alleged fraudulent transaction was at an advanced stage. The second phase related to new developments which had emerged, resulting in the scope of the investigation being expanded. Going forward, the composition of the investigating team had been enhanced as the investigative case plan was to take into consideration the newly released PriceWaterhouseCooper report.
The National Prosecuting Authority said that three prosecutors had been dedicated to the Steinhoff investigation. The seriousness of the matter meant that the investigation would be fast-tracked the moment it received the PriceWaterhouseCooper report. The National Prosecuting Authority could not begin prosecution until the Hawks had concluded their investigations. Another delaying factor was the complexity in the nature of the case, as Steinhoff operated in several countries.
Members expressed concern that, more than a year after the Steinhoff collapse, there appeared to have been no meaningful consequence management. They emphasised the importance of enforcement and implementation of existing legal instruments to ensure transgressors were brought to book. What was so difficult about having transgressors at Steinhoff arrested for their wrongdoing? They were frustrated that the Hawks had only investigated one transaction in over a year and had not taken up any prosecution in the biggest corporate fraud in the history of SA. Members urged law enforcement agencies to act because bodies conducting oversight like Parliament now appeared to be toothless.
The Co-Chairperson said that feedback provided, particularly by the Hawks, was uninspiring. He asked whether the Hawks had taken steps to secure access to the full PriceWaterhouseCooper report. He gave the Hawks 24 hours to secure the report, failing which they should take legal steps to obtain it. He instructed the Hawks to provide weekly feedback to Parliament on progress being made into the investigation until 7 May, 2019.
The Committees resolved that the names of executives implicated in the PriceWaterhouseCooper report be revealed to Parliament. The CEO of Steinhoff read out the names of those implicated.
Co-Chairperson Godi explained that the Committees would want to get a sense of what had transpired in the worst corruption case in the history of the country. The Committees would also want to know what the regulatory bodies had done or were doing. The engagements should be continual as the matter was of national importance and hence Members remained seized with it. The Committees were not merely going through the motions and he believed that the next Parliament would continue pursuing the matter with the same vigour as the Fifth Parliament had done. He invited presentations from stakeholders in attendance.
Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) submission
Ms Nicky Newton-King, CEO, JSE, gave feedback on Steinhoff investigations since the last briefing to the Committees. She told the Committees that disciplinary action had been taken against Steinhoff and its subsidiary Pepkor. The JSE had fined Steinhoff R1 million for failing to disclose a downgrade in the immediate aftermath of reports of its accounting irregularities. The JSE had similarly fined Pepkor R5 million. The JSE had submitted a report on its investigation into insider trading to the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA).
Ms Nicky Newton-King informed the Committees about the JSE’s bid to strengthen listing and regulatory requirements, a process that was still under way. Draft listing requirements would be released towards the end of the second quarter followed by a one-month consultation period on the proposals. The JSE had issued a consultative document in September 2018, with the purpose of working on proposals for the JSE to strengthen its regulatory approach to new and existing listings. The document also provided information to enhance investor confidence in the secondary market trading in JSE listed securities. The JSE received 74 responses to the document, which were generally supportive.
Ms Newton-King explained that the JSE could not freeze Steinhoff shares for not submitting its financials, as the company was dual-listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (FSE). The FSE had said it would not freeze the group's shares, meaning the JSE could not freeze them either. The JSE would consult further and consider the full PwC report.
Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) input
Adv Rory Voller, Commissioner, CIPC, said the CIPC had issued Steinhoff with a compliance notice in January 2018. Steinhoff International Holdings had complied with the compliance notice and a certificate of compliance was subsequently issued in September 2018. However, the CIPC was bound by confidentiality agreements demanded by Steinhoff so he was not able to name the individuals that Steinhoff had identified as having been involved in the falsification of accounting records. The compliance notice required Steinhoff to identify the individuals involved in the falsification of records, to institute criminal and civil action against them within six months.
He assured the Committees that CIPC would definitely make applications to have the directors of Steinhoff declared delinquent, which would prevent them becoming directors of any company boards. However, that could only happen when a court had found those responsible guilty. The CIPC was reviewing the Companies Act as it was considering an inclusion of requirements for social and ethics committees in respect of external companies
Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA)
Mr Brandon Topham, Divisional Executive: Investigations and Enforcements, FSCA, said as the FSCA only had to establish proof on a balance of probabilities in its administrative investigations, it had been able to proceed with speed. The FSCA had narrowed its investigations from 60 trading accounts for insider trading down to eight trading accounts. The Authority was investigating three offences at Steinhoff: insider trading, market manipulation and false and misleading information. It was clear that there had been false and misleading information about the financial statements as the company itself had admitted that the financial statements had to be restated.
He said that the investigations would be a high priority for the FSCA over the next three to six months and there were no budgetary constraints to doing so. The final stage would be to lay criminal charges with the South African Police Service. He noted that the publication of false and misleading information was similar to fraud. The FSCA was putting all its resources into finishing the matter as speedily as possible. The FSCA was awaiting the full PwC report, and had already received parts of it. Potential penalties would be known once the investigation was complete.
He appealed to anyone who had been advised to sell Steinhoff shares by executives to come forward as part of its insider trading investigation.
Mr D Ross (DA) wanted to know why it had taken the JSE so long to pick up on irregularities at Steinhoff. What would be done to strengthen the oversight of the JSE?
Mr A Lees (DA) asked the FSCA to confirm whether it had received the full PwC report, not just the executive summary. He wanted to know why the CIPC would not name people who had been charged, and, specifically, on what legal basis that decision had been made.
Mr T Brauteseth (DA) asked whether senior executives had taken long or short positions in Steinhoff shares just before the collapse. He expressed concern that there appeared to have been no meaningful consequence management despite more than a year elapsing since the Steinhoff collapse.
Ms N Khunou (ANC) emphasised the importance of enforcement and implementation of existing legal instruments to ensure transgressors were brought to book. What was so difficult about having transgressors at Steinhoff arrested for their wrongdoing? Had regulators been more vigilant, some of the challenges affecting the country would not exist.
Co-Chairperson Carrim said the Steinhoff matter had dragged on too long. What was taking the regulators so long? Parliament could not undermine the prospects of prosecutions but wanted people in jail. Members wanted people in orange outfits. Former Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste was probably jogging or shopping. The public needed to know what was going on and most importantly, the public wanted convictions. He asked what Parliament should do to strengthen regulations and ensure occurrences of that nature did not emerge again.
Ms Newton-King responded that it would be difficult to pick up anything irregular, if it was intentionally or deliberately withheld in the case. She added more money was needed to capacitate enforcement by bringing in investigative capacity. Further, or more stringent, regulations would not necessarily help. SA had lots of good laws, but people found a way around them. The ethical compass was off-centre. Different role players had to do their part to hold management accountable.
Adv Voller said that there was no legal basis to withhold names of individuals implicated in the Steinhoff wrong doing. The initial request had been made by Steinhoff so as not to jeopardise investigations, but that might no longer be relevant. He believed there were no legal grounds for withholding names anymore. Steinhoff had to answer why the names could not be revealed.
Mr Topham said the FSCA had no budgetary constraints whatsoever. He reiterated that Steinhoff was the FSCA's number one priority, but he could not give a timeframe for the completion of its investigation into the multinational company. The FSCA was set to soon receive the full PwC report from Steinhoff which was 3000 pages long and included some 4000 annexes. He added there was good international cooperation around investigations into the company.
Ms Heather Sonn, Supervisory Board Chairperson, Steinhoff, gave an update on developments within the group and on the PwC forensic report which had recently been released. She indicated Steinhoff was not in a position to share anything that could stand in the way of a successful prosecution. She said the 14-month PwC investigation was extremely complex. The complete report contains 14 000 pages, when annexes were included. 22 current and former directors had been interviewed. The global retailer had prioritised the finalisation of its financial statements, completed a forensic report to uncover wrongdoing and was considering what legal processes to follow. Steinhoff remained in a precarious position. The aim was to ensure it could meet its debt obligations, keep operating companies in business and, if possible, preserve value for shareholders. The group was still in a voluntary arrangement with creditors that had to reach completion. Steinhoff needed to get finalisation of the arrangement with creditors to ensure operating companies could continue to operate. Steinhoff was working on a remedial plan following the findings of the PwC investigation. She added that he board had resolved to pursue claims against implicated parties. Steinhoff would also pursue recovery of losses incurred and damages suffered.
Mr Louis du Preez, CEO, Steinhoff, said the financial effect of accounting irregularities would be revealed in the 2017/18 financial report of Steinhoff. He explained that there had been an overstatement of income, which had had an impact on Steinhoff's financial position. The financial effect of the accounting irregularities, which had overstated Steinhoff's income and assets via irregular transactions by €6 billion, would only be known when the 2017/18 financial results were released. The report showed that a small group of Steinhoff Group former executives and other non-Steinhoff executives, led by a senior management executive, had structured and implemented various transactions over a number of years, which had the result of substantially inflating the profit and asset values of the Steinhoff Group over an extended period. Steinhoff was working with Deloitte to finalise its 2017 and 2018 consolidated financial statements, while considering the findings from the forensic investigation. The forensic findings might influence the nature of the audit opinion. The market would be informed immediately if the effect on group equity was materially different from that stated in the interim report released in June 2018.
Mr du Preez indicated he was the only person with a written copy of the 3000-page PwC report on Steinhoff. Electronic versions were available to a select few, but could not be printed. Other organisations with access to the report included Werksmans Attorneys and PwC. Steinhoff considered the report subject to legal privilege and confidential. None of the regulators had full access of the report at that stage. The group would engage with regulators if they thought they needed access to the report.
Ms Khunou demanded that the names of those implicated in Steinhoff’s forensic report be revealed. She also wanted to know how the internal audit within the company was going to be strengthened.
Mr Brauteseth asked if there was a possibility that additional civil or criminal charges would be laid in relation to the Steinhoff collapse. He wanted to know if the grubby sordid business involving the inflation of share prices might have been due to personal avarice and greed, or it was because the Steinhoff Group was in trouble in the market.
Mr Ross wanted to know if Deloitte had been charged for improper conduct as the audit profession represented a vital line of defence.
Mr Lees asked if the Hawks had the PwC forensic report. If they had it or could not have it ,then who had it? Had the charges been laid? The Committees were not getting a clear picture. He asked for a legal opinion from the Parliamentary Legal Advisor on whether the Committees should not be provided with names. He asked whether it had more to do with the fact that Steinhoff feared that companies suing it would use that information in court, and less do with confidential legal information. It had been indicated that the group was in a precarious position. It was clear a massive amount of fraud had taken place for the past ten years. Was it not incumbent on the chairperson to resign and get other people to fix the mess?
Adv Frank Jenkins, Parliamentary Legal Advisor, said that under the Powers, Privileges and Immunities Act Parliament could request that information be revealed if it was in pursuit of Parliament's mandate. That meant that Parliament could force Steinhoff to reveal the names of those implicated in the report. In turn, Steinhoff could rebut that request on the grounds that it was not within Parliament's mandate. In that case, the Committees could then summons Steinhoff to do so.
Adv Robert Driman, Steinhoff Legal Advisor: Werksmans Attorneys, said the refusal to disclose the names was based on European data and privacy protection laws that stipulated that the information could not be volunteered. However, Steinhoff would have to comply with an instruction of Parliament.
Co-Chairperson Maswanganyi said the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration had met with trade unions on the Steinhoff collapse. The unions represented millions of workers in the public service who incurred losses owing to the Steinhoff collapse. It was not understandable why, up to that day, there has been no prosecutions. Prosecution should start as soon as possible. The impression was that, had it been a black-owned company or a politician involved, the matter would have been long concluded.
Co-Chairperson Godi said that what was paramount was not the display of names, but the actual prosecution of the criminals. It was a balancing act and it had to be done correctly.
Ms Sonn said that he concern about disclosure was to prevent long-term consequences for a successful prosecution, hence the PwC report released to the public did not name the culpable individuals. Steinhoff had to be in a position to institute recovery actions against directors in the event of claims being lodged against it and for bonuses that were illegitimately paid. Steinhoff had decided to institute legal action against responsible parties. She stressed those responsible would be held accountable. In response to criticisms that Steinhoff had not acted quickly enough against wrongdoers, she emphasised that it was important for legal processes to take their course. If anything was done on short term demand, it would have long-term consequences for legal processes.
Co-Chairperson Carrim said that whether Steinhoff revealed the names or not, they could potentially end up in the public domain through the media. He put a resolution before Members that having considered the challenges being experienced by Steinhoff, the Committees had no choice but to instruct Steinhoff to release the names of the people whom PwC had mentioned.
Members unanimously agreed with Mr Carrim.
Co-Chairperson Carrim told regulators they should ask for the PwC report.
Mr Du Preez responded to the resolution that the names of those culpable be divulged. He stated that the small group of executives mentioned in the PwC report were: Markus Jooste, Dirk Schreiber, Ben le Grange, Stehan Grobler. The names of non-Steinhoff executives were: Siegmar Schmidt, Alan Evans, Jean-Noel Pasquier, and Davide Ramano.
Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) presentation
Mr Bernard Agulhas, CEO, IRBA, said IRBA said that its own probe into Steinhoff had been held up until Steinhoff published restated financial statements and the 2017/18 financial statement. The IRBA noted with concern the allegations contained in the PwC forensic investigation report regarding the nature and extent of the corporate fraud allegedly perpetrated by a small of group of executives and related parties, the potential accounting irregularities and the potential non-compliance with laws and regulations.
The IRBA investigation, which had commenced in December 2017 was into Deloitte South Africa which had signed off on the group consolidated financial statements up to 2015. The audit files for 2014, 2015 and 2016 had been received. Critical would be the receipt of the restated financial statements. PWC had spent months with hundreds of investigators and without similar capacity, IRBA looked forward to see how the restated results could assist the IRBA’s investigation.
Mr Agulhas explained that from 2016, the audit of the consolidated financial statements had been conducted by Deloitte Netherlands. The IRBA did not have jurisdiction over those auditors. It was the Netherlands partner who had refused to sign off on the 2017 financials due to suspected accounting irregularities. An MOU with the Netherlands was still in progress due to legal restrictions on sharing of information. The IRBA would identify the areas of the report which it wishes to pursue for further investigation, bearing in mind that certain of the allegations might pertain to off-shore acquisitions and transactions, which might have been audited by a foreign audit firm.
The IRBA was reliant on the publication of the restated figures for the 2015 and 2016 financial years to conclude its investigation into the audits. He expressed IRBA’s commitment to working with all regulators in the matter both local and abroad in the best interest of investors and the public. The regulatory board had reached out to Steinhoff as well and noted that Steinhoff has been co-operating with the AFM, the Dutch audit regulator. It was pleased with Steinhoff’s commitment to work with regulators and trusted that IRBA would be provided with access to relevant parts of the PWC report. The IRBA would be requesting the full report and annexures where those related to the audit of Steinhoff as the report related to accounting irregularities. Auditors were the fifth or sixth line of defence.
Dr Godfrey Lebeya, Head: Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI), gave a background to the Steinhoff investigations. To date four complaints (dockets), had been received together with a report in terms of Section 34 (1) of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act of 2004, relating to the Steinhoff matter. Those investigations had since been combined into one criminal investigation. The alleged allegations were that Steinhoff Investments Holdings Ltd (SA) had been submitting false, misleading and/or deceptive financial statements in order to attract investors, in contravention of the Financial Markets Act. Upon the allegations becoming known during December 2017, the value of the shares had dropped significantly, resulting in substantial prejudice to the investors.
On the current status of the investigations, mutual legal assistance has been requested, and the Hawks were awaiting a response. The first phase of the investigation dealt with an alleged fraudulent transaction, and was at an advanced stage. The second phase related to new developments which had emerged, resulting in the scope of the investigation being expanded. On the way forward, Dr Lebeya said that the composition of the investigating team has been enhanced. Furthermore, the investigative case plan, taking into consideration the newly-released PWC report, was under review.
Dr Lebeya said that fraud had been committed with regard to the specific transactions that had taken place in SA. He added that the scope of the investigation had to be expanded. The Hawks were investigating fraud; theft; contraventions of the prevention of corrupt activities act; contraventions of the organised crime act; and contraventions of the companies act. The second phase of the Hawks investigation would deal with the new developments which had emerged. Reports in the media space, including the PwC report, will be considered for the probe. The Hawks have also increased the capacity of their investigating team to five officers, who would work with a prosecuting team.
Input by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA)
Adv Mpho Doubada, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, NPA, said the presentation by the Hawks was a combined effort from the DPCI as well the NPA. Three prosecutors had been dedicated to the Steinhoff investigation. The seriousness of the matter meant the investigation would be fast-tracked the moment the NPA received the PwC report. The NPA could not begin prosecution until the Hawks had concluded their investigations. Another delaying factor was the complexity of the cases as Steinhoff operated in several countries.
Mr Lees said he was flabbergasted by the lack of progress on the part of law enforcement agencies. He expressed frustration that the Hawks had only investigated one transaction in over a year and had instituted any prosecution. He also asked what the budget of the investigation was, and how was it that five people probed one transaction. That was the biggest corporate fraud in the history of SA and the Hawks had traced one transaction, which was not concluded, and no one has been charged.
Ms D Mahlangu (ANC) said that if former Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste was black, prosecuting authorities would have made a bigger fuss and there would have been a prosecution by then. Mr Jooste undermined Parliament, the NPA and the Hawks. It was like chasing a moving shadow. She urged law enforcement agencies to act because bodies conducting oversight like Parliament appeared to be toothless. The loss in value of Steinhoff shares when knowledge of the accounting irregularities was revealed, had impacted on people’s money.
Ms Khunou said that law enforcement agents, particularly the Hawks, had to do their job. There was clearly no progress and that explained why people could get away with wrongdoing. Parliament needed to be taken seriously.
Minister Ayanda Dlodlo, Minister of Public Service and Administration, asked if the Hawks and the NPA have enough capacity. She pointed out they would also have to deal with cases emanating from Public Investment Corporation inquiry whilst little progress had been made on Steinhoff.
Co-Chairperson Carrim said that the feedback provided by the Hawks was uninspiring. It would have been better if the Hawks had said they had nothing new to say and left it at that. He asked whether the Hawks had taken steps to secure access to the full 15 000-page PwC report, as it had been known since the previous Friday that the investigation was complete. He gave the Hawks 24 hours to secure the report, failing which they should take legal steps to get the report. He further instructed the Hawks to provide weekly feedback to Parliament on progress being made into the investigation, until May 7, 2019, the day before elections. The NPA and the Hawks were the key institutions in the matter and yet their reports were the worst. It was deeply disappointing.
Dr Lebeya said, in response, that the Hawks Unit was going to do everything in its power to expedite the investigations. In response to the criticism, he said the Hawks had sensitive information that could not be made public at that point, which was why the report to Parliament appeared watered down. Most of the matters were evidential in nature, and it would not be proper to present it in public. He indicated the Hawks were on the verge of arresting one person involved in the Steinhoff scandal when PwC had released its report the previous Friday. That had now expanded their work as they were looking at more people. All the incidents had to be investigated together.
Dr Lebeya explained that the Hawks did not have specific budgets for specific investigations, nor did specific individuals deal with only one investigation. The reality was that, given the number of cases at hand, the Hawks could not deploy a team to each case. The directorate had teams which worked on a number of cases. The Hawks did not have any auditors and relied on firms like KPMG for the skills needed. It was because of their limited capacity that teams worked on more than one case at a time.
Co-Chairperson Godi said that the fight against corruption and malfeasance could not be reduced to happenings only in government. It was incumbent upon Parliament to take oversight to a whole new level. That was about getting people to account for their actions. One should understand that the call on law enforcement agencies was that there had to be accountability, and that people had to be taken to task for their actions. The concern of the Members was about all law enforcement agencies.
Co-Chairperson Maswanganyi said that the Committees wanted to see action being taken by the Hawks and the NPA. The law enforcement agencies had to act, otherwise people would lose confidence in Parliament and such institutions. In the case of VBS Mutual Bank, people were walking freely. Two union leaders had been killed for raising the VBS issue. There had to be action on VBS and Steinhoff where money belonging to the people had been lost.
Co-Chairperson Carrim, in closing, stressed the need for prosecutions to take place. He reiterated that the Hawks had to give Parliament weekly updates on the progress of its investigation into Steinhoff. He would speak to the Ministers of Justice & Constitutional Development and Police to see how the Steinhoff matter could be expedited.
The meeting was adjourned.
Carrim, Mr YI
Bagraim, Mr M
Brauteseth, Mr TJ
Chiloane, Ms TD
Dlodlo, Ms A
Godi, Mr NT
Kenye, Ms TE
Khunou, Ms NP
Lees, Mr RA
Mahlangu, Ms DG
Mashile, Mr BL
Maswanganyi, Mr MJ
Matshoba, Ms MO
Nhleko, Mr N
Nkonyeni, Ms P
Ramatlakane, Mr L
Ross, Mr DC
Theko, Ms L C
Tobias, Ms TV
Tongwane, Ms TM
Van Schalkwyk, Ms SR
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