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Jooste Resignation Sends Shockwaves

'Every line of communication seems broken' - Alec Hogg

The resignation this week of leading South African and international owner and breeder Markus Jooste as CEO of Steinhoff International and from the board of local racing operator Phumelela Gaming & Leisure Ltd has led to speculation and uncertainty.

Biznews.com founder Alec Hogg writes from London that much of the past few days was spent trying to unpack the truth behind the spectacular implosion of Steinhoff’s share price.

Here is his view…

Alec HoggAlec Hogg

There were powerful vested interests to do so, including that it is one of the stocks we hold in the Biznews SA Champions portfolio where hundreds of Easy Equities clients have invested their hard-earned savings alongside mine.

But it gets even more personal.

I have known and respected Steinhoff’s now departed CEO Markus Jooste for decades. During this time he built a global giant by executing on Steinhoff’s vertically integrated business model and applying strict financial disciplines both internally and when considering acquisitions.

In dozens of interviews, during spats in the RA and Phumelela boardrooms, and over many private cups of tea, our interaction has always been direct and honest. It’s like having woken up in a parallel universe seeing him mercilessly pilloried on social media and widely labelled a crook.

Those who know him are not the only ones in shock. Jooste himself has gone so far underground that every line of communication seems broken.

All we have from his side is a text message apparently sent to a few members of his team at Steinhoff. I say apparently, because he hasn’t yet confirmed to anyone whether he actually sent it. But it does sound very much like the man I know – apologising to his team, accepting responsibility for his mistakes and encouraging those he has left behind to keep living their dream.

My engagement with those closer to the fire and other research is throwing up all kinds of interesting but sometimes conflicting information.

But here’s what we do know for sure.

Big Player – Markus Jooste

At board level, Jooste has been under pressure for the way he has handled a tax investigation by the German authorities and allegations of accounting impropriety made by the group’s previous partner in its POCO subsidiary. This I can “get” – PR has never been a Jooste strength. His binary brain is simply not wired for such nuances.

But he seemed to be riding that storm well enough as most believed his strong responses that there was nothing to the allegations. What has proved Jooste’s undoing, though, was when Deloitte refused to sign off on annual financial results to end September that were due for release earlier this week.

Jooste, himself a chartered accountant, disagreed with their interpretation and wanted the board to release the results as unaudited. An already irritated Steinhoff board took the side of the auditors against its CEO. A standoff occurred and Jooste resigned with immediate effect.

Chairman Christo Wiese, Steinhoff’s biggest single shareholder, has taken charge. Big Four auditing firm PWC was immediately assigned to double check Deloitte. And the group’s highly rated former CFO Ben la Grange has been moved back to his old post running the global finances to apply the required attention to getting to the truth. He thus relinquished his position as CEO at the recently listed Steinhoff Africa, a move that wasn’t immediately appreciated.

Those are the facts as we have been aware of them thus far. Something else we know is there is nothing more powerful than the truth. And Steinhoff has one of the strongest and most independently minded boards of any South African company. Each director’s personal credibility depends on the truth being aired.

While the social media mobs are screaming, spurred on by “research reports” being circulated by short-selling hedge funds enjoying a massive payday, it is all too easy to get caught up in the drama. But investment rewards discipline and rationality. Not emotional or knee-jerk reactions.

So what to do now?

I’ll be spending the next few days speaking to those who can help me get a better handle on all this. Fortuitously, we have a webinar scheduled for Tuesday night at 8pm SA time for Biznews Premium subscribers, providing the ideal opportunity to feed this back to you. As always, it is live and interactive. And by then we are sure to have a lot more clarity.

betting

Tuesday night’s webinar is billed as our monthly update on the Biznews SA Champions portfolio. But given the circumstances, it will be dedicated to a rational discussion on what we need to do with the Steinhoff shares we hold.

It’s no easy decision. We have learnt from Warren Buffett to dump shares in companies affected by scandal. But the Oracle of Omaha also teaches us to be greedy when everyone else is fearful – and right now Steinhoff is to fear what Bitcoin is to greed.

My advice, then, is to keep a cool head. And if you’re a Biznews Premium subscriber, please make a date to join me in the webinar on Tuesday. If you haven’t already signed up, reserve a seat by taking advantage of the free 30 day trial to Biznews Premium by clicking here.

Look forward to engaging on Tuesday. Have a peaceful weekend. This too shall pass.



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The Sporting Post encourages allcomers to feel free to have their say in the spirit of enlightening the topic, the participants and the originator of the thread. However, if it is deemed to be either offensive, insulting, personal, false or possibly unsubstantiated, the Sporting Post shall, on it's own assessment, alter or remove comments.

67 comments on “Jooste Resignation Sends Shockwaves”

  1. Is there a legal obligation on an individual who resigns as a director of a foreign listed company to also resign as a director of a South African listed company? If not, then what would have prompted Jooste to also resign from Phumelela Gaming and Leisure Limited.

    1. Even if there were no legal obligation, surely there is a moral obligation? If he has resigned from one board due to allegations of impropriety against the company, how can be justify sitting on another board? It would be an inconsistent approach.

      And I agree with the article: those who are pilloring the guy should know that there is something called the presumption of innocence. As CEO, he bore ultimate responsibility for the running of the company but, until proven otherwise, he did not participate in or initiate any unlawful act. And he should continue to be respected until / unless we have proof that he personally did something wrong.

      1. Courts of law must presume innocence until proven guilty. The police and prosecutors on the other hand, look at the evidence, presume guilt and prosecute the offender.

  2. The article of Mr Hogg brings back memories when a few good men – who had done no back room deals with Markus Jooste and Chris Van Niekerk and had only racing’s best interests at heart – were complaining that these two individuals and a few others were acting incorrectly and not in the best interests of horse racing.

    Some 10 years ago Mr Hogg penned the following article.

    Barbarians, with stakes, at the gates
    Alec Hogg is subjected to “stakeholder” abuse, warns of power shifts that boardrooms must heed.
    Alec Hogg
    20 April 2007
    In an age when heroes of the past are being eulogised, it can’t be long before South African ears are subjected to a ballad about murdered Boer leader Piet Retief. Hopefully we’ll be spared the part where Retief and his men are impaled on stakes driven up through their anuses.
    There’s an ironic link with the present. Increasingly, otherwise docile people are being turned into stake-wielding barbarians. All it seems to take is a few half truths here and some stirring oratory there.
    Recent examples show today’s “stakeholders” – a term embracing those with even the vaguest interest – can turn very nasty indeed. Not for the modern day rabble rousers those niceties of fact-based, civilised debate. Nowadays any blunt weapon will do.
    Smarter boardrooms have already cottoned on. They are aware of this dangerous trend and looking for ways to address it, including paying greater heed to private-equity opportunities. But by far the majority of those in corporate leadership remain oblivious, some even basking in schadenfruede of a rival’s travails.
    They need to reflect. The current attack on World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz is a harrowing example.
    Wolfowitz, 63, was nominated to the World Bank’s presidency in 2005 by his friend US President George W Bush. Traditionally, an American runs the World Bank while someone from elsewhere is appointed MD of its sister organisation, the International Monetary Fund.
    Many non-Americans would like to change this convention. So Wolfowitz’s nomination was always going to be controversial. Adding to that was his directive to take no prisoners when installing an anti-corruption culture at the notoriously poorly managed institution.
    Their figurative stake being used against Wolfowitz is his girlfriend, Shaha Riza. An Oxford University graduate and outspoken advocate of women’s rights in the Middle East, Riza worked in the World Bank’s Middle Eastern department at the time of Wolfowitz’s nomination to its presidency.
    The divorced World Bank chief raised his personal relationship at the time of his nomination. He suggested any potential conflict of interest could be addressed by being recused from any professional dealings with Riza. As she was four levels below the president at an organisation employing 10 000, it was an eminently workable solution.
    The World Bank’s Ethics Committee went even further. It insisted the would-be boss’s roommate had to be moved out of the organisation before Wolfowitz’s appointment. So she was seconded into a communications position at the US state department.
    Neither Wolfowitz nor Riza were happy at the decision and said so at the time.
    She received a salary increase of US$5 000 a month (to $16 000) to compensate for the impact on her career prospects at the World Bank. Riza left, Wolfowitz moved into the hot seat and all seemed dandy. That was until two months ago.
    As the consequences of his anti-corruption mandate started biting, Wolfowitz’s internal enemies ballooned. Leading those opposed to his rule were bureaucrats angry at having their lending limits cut and unhappy that negotiations with borrowing governments had become more difficult. Supporting them are those in the bloated organisation desperate to ward off the inevitable retrenchments.
    They have grabbed the unlikely rallying call of claiming Wolfowitz, before he was even installed, insisted the World Bank give his girlfriend that $5 000 a month increase. The media egged on by among others, a previously unknown World Bank staff association Chairman Alison Cave (a junior urban planner), turning her into a national figure.
    It doesn’t seem to matter that the World Bank Ethics Committee, says Wolfowitz, did no wrong. Or that the public release of all internal documentation on the matter proves he acted honourably.
    Others opposed to Wolfowitz’s rule – and some who want to settle old scores with his allies – are using half-truths and personal accusations to fuel their public campaign. So despite the facts, they could yet see George Bush’s pal getting shafted.
    Closer to home, over the past couple of months I’ve been drawn into something where motives seem similar.
    A loose alliance of horse racing industry malcontents has requisitioned a special general meeting where members will be asked to eject the entire board of directors of the Racing Association(yours truly among them). The RA is an industry body charged with looking after the interests of racehorse owners.
    I was a reluctant nominee in the RA board elections two years back. As feared, the experience has been taxing. Like most industries in transition, horse racing is home to many chafing under disciplines forced through the process of becoming professionalised. In their pain, they lash out with little concern for truth or consequences.
    Like World Bank bureaucrats, these unhappy personages long for the “good old days”. In racing’s case, that’s apartheid South Africa, before metropolitan casinos slashed the industry’s share of the gambling rand from a monopolistic 100% to the current 8%.
    Time consuming as it might have been, especially lately, serving as a director of the RA hasn’t all been bad.
    Board membership provided a front row seat to the structuring and implementation of a considered strategy driven by business heavyweights and fellow RA board members Markus Jooste (Steinhoff CEO) and Chris van Niekerk (PG Bison). This approach of fixing what could be fixed, negotiating a sustainable structure and launching constructive engagement with JSE-listed Phumelela, has achieved astonishing results for racehorse owners and the industry as a whole.
    When you get past the noise, the key issue for the rebels is a return to the old confrontation approach with Phumelela – an approach directly responsible for many of the industry’s woes in the first place.
    As with Wolfowitz, the RA’s fight has turned ugly.
    RA directors have been repeatedly and publicly defamed by the rebels, becoming the subject of wild accusations including that of abusing positions for personal gain (all directors’ fees, by the way, are donated back into the stakes pot).
    As with the World Bank, one hopes that with the RA, sanity eventually prevails.
    Mature commentators around the world are calling on the 24-member World Bank board to act with integrity and reject these groundless accusations against the reforming Wolfowitz.
    In the horseracing case, the RA directors have invested enormous time trying to convince the association’s 1 800 members why they need to look past the self-interested arguments of the rebels.
    But whichever way the cookie crumbles, irreparable damage is being done.
    After Wolfowitz’s public ordeal over something that’s none of his making, there can be few intelligent would-be successors who would now consider being exposed to something similar for that $400 000 a job. And regarding the RA, anyone’s love of horseracing has limits.
    “Stakeholder” power brings new challenges on to any public organisation’s agenda. One obvious issue is improving its ongoing communication. But even that can’t be a perfect shield against unscrupulous enemies.
    Little wonder so many smart corporate leaders actively seek private-equity partnerships and their sanctuary of private ownership.

    1. Amongst the “malcontents” were Larry Wainstein Joe Soma Trevor Raath Dave Scott and an interested Rob Scott on the sidelines. No guesses for what Judases got paid the silver coins

    2. Bravo Brett. Hindsight is the only truthful benchmark at ones disposal to truly test the character of a man, including the honorable writer, Mr.Hogg.

      He was part of the coup ten years ago, now it comes back to haunt him.

      It’s a case of sleeping with the devil and expecting Angels to ferry you around.

      As for the ill-informed Mr.Jayes. The most important principle in Roman Dutch Law is called “Intend”.

      So before we bark around like Mr. Jayes, let’s be guided by Plato, as he so passionately warn in his Socratic Dialogue, “The Republic”. He assert that the most dangerous thing any man can do, is to have an opinion on something that he does not have any or little knowledge of or on.

      The above is also referenced against his ill-tempered and uninformed opinion expressed against Mr. De Kock not so long ago.

      Amazing grace, how sour the scent of truth, or is it so?

      1. Pray tell me Lennon Hart what did I write that was ill-informed and ill-tempered. I was involved in all aspects of horseracing over a period of more than 50 years and am knowledgable enough to pass comment. I never wrote anything “against” Mr De Kock, I merely corrected Mr Bloomberg’s assertion that he had a clean record on doping. It was common knowledge a number of years ago that he had a number of doping charges and was given a suspended “warning-off” as a result. Horses do not have drugs in their systems by accident, they are put there by someone for a particular purpose and stripped of all the verbiage, drugging horses for racing is in essence abuse of defenceless animals. It looks like the uninformed one is Lennon Hart, not me.

  3. Why hasn’t anyone addressed the issue of how large Jooste and Mayfair are in the racing Industry and the repercussions of them pulling out are?

    1. exactly what I am looking for. EDITOR: maybe an analysis of what happens if the Joostes leave racing? We’d presumably first have the biggest dispersal sale in the history of horse-racing in South Africa; what about the impact on (1) trainers like Ramsden, Brett Crawford and others who get nice horses from them; (2) sales prices where the Joostes are invariably the biggest buyers; (3) Mayfair Speculators and its employees (Derek Brugman and who else?); (4) indirect impact on grooms, bookmakers, etc.

      A tsunami to hit the SA racing industry?

      Sounds scary from where I am watching.

        1. Gavin, if the Joostes do leave racing, there will be fewer horses bought and brought into competition (and maybe also fewer horses bred) – fields will be smaller, leading to lower turn-over.

  4. A decade ago, Hogg, an articulate and highly intelligent man, in awe of this disgraced “icon”, labelled a handful of horse owners and trainers as “barbarians” (uncivilized people) because they had the audacity to question the capture of horseracing by the Corporates (which entailed controlling the RA, the Racing Trust and even the NHA) at the expense of the horse and racing stakeholders. Yes that term, stakeholders, which includes among others, owners, punters (the customer), trainers, grooms, jockeys, breeders etc) so hated by the shareholders.
    He even went further and said that this small group of uncivilized people were hell bent on discrediting and lashing out (for their personal gain).
    10 years down the line, how ironic, that the barbarians have been vindicated and the Emperor stripped of his throne. Let’s wait and see what happens to his Senators and cohorts and ramifications of his fall from grace.

    1. Jess hope you don’t have another decade to wait for the “incompetents “and those in sheltered employment to abandon ship.Save the bittere geleghte for later till it’s all said and done.The web is still firmly in place ,and been in Africa you should well know .one big man is normally replaced by another,just look north of the Limpopo.

      In light and love.

  5. When I was a teenager in the 1950’s there was a hit song by The Four Preps that seems very appropriate to Markus Jooste: “I was a big man yesterday but boy you ought to see me now”.

  6. He may employ the services of a proper legal eagle.
    Seems like he was fully aware of what was going on.
    He’s a bright guy and will have to have some insight as to what was happening.

    1. They must be banned from racing. They must be investigated to see what money was used to purchase all those horses. Like to see those high profile trainers faces now, especially the ones that favored the rich over the poor.

      1. how can you talk about banning them when they have not been charged with any offence, let alone found guilty? the bedrock of any civilised society is the presumption of innocence and it’d be good to remember this.

        Even if Markus J has acted badly (and indications are he has), we must not forget this immense contribution to racing; he has contributed to creation and maintenance and jobs and has contributed to racegoeers seeing many champions.

        Let him be judged first before anyone decides to hang him…

        1. This seems to be the letter doing the rounds in all the media so I assume it is true .

          ” Hi there,

          Firstly I would like to apologise for all the bad publicity I caused the Steinhoff company the last couple of months.

          Now I have caused the company further damage by not being able to finalise the year-end audited numbers and I made some big mistakes and have now caused financial loss to many innocent people.

          It is time for me to move on and take the consequences of my behavior like a man.

          Sorry that I have disappointed all of you and I never meant to cause any of you any harm.

          Please continue to live the Steinhoff dream and I must make it very clear none of Danie [van der Merwe – COO], Ben [la Grange – CFO], Stehan [Grobler – executive Group Treasury and Financing] and Mariza [Nel] – Corporate Services, IT & HR] had anything to do with any of my mistakes.

          I enjoyed working with you and wish you all the best for the future.

          Best regards
          Markus.”

        2. Contributionion to horseracing with investors money. Anyone can do this. Did you see how much the pension fund lost.

      2. Just a reminder that the Sporting Post encourages allcomers to feel free to have their say in the spirit of enlightening the topic, the participants and the originator of the thread.
        However, if it is deemed to be either offensive, insulting, personal, false or possibly unsubstantiated, the Sporting Post shall, on it’s own accessment, alter or remove comments.

        1. Was my comment insulting or defamatory when I mentioned Jooste, Moodley and Plattner? Why did you not publish it? It was stating what is out There, I didn’t defame anyone?

          1. Hi Michael

            The use of reference to ‘dodgy character’ is not acceptable to us.

            Mr Jooste resigned from Phumelela and together with his status as a leading owner and breeder, became a racing interest story to us.

            The other names are not relevant to this thread.

  7. In this racing game the norm is the more money you spend in it, the shorter your time. So the factor that the Jooste dynasty lasted this long is quite an achievement and the factor that the brand has crept into so many parts of our racing. A big void will be left if it has to be auctioned off and I do not see it being filled. Racing in RSA will not be the same.

  8. In terms of SA horseracing , the show must go on.
    However, a supposedly cautionary announcement has been made re Markus Jooste (aka Mayfair Speculators) , re the future of their involvement , as funds might become an issue.
    Has Phumelela stepped in and requested guarantees etc regarding trainers fees , or does this only happen when a small guy falls in?

  9. I continually hear these voices from all quarters saying that Markus Jooste is innocent until proven guilty. Of course he is innocent until proven guilty. That is in a court of law. In the day to day real world and according to society and its morals and ethics, Markus Jooste is guilty of doing harm to thousands of families. Over the past 13 years horse racing has become infested with individuals aligned to Markus Jooste. Nothing has been said by Phumelela, Mayfair Speculators, Jooste trainers and jockeys, the NHRA, Steinhoff, the RA, CTS and the Racing Trust about how they have been or will be affected. The demise of Markus Jooste is affecting and will affect horse racing. These horse racing institutions and entities are remaining silent. Horse racing has an obligation to save itself. It is time for the players to step up to the plate and come clean or to resign.

  10. What is it about greed. Not long ago Mr Adriaan Van Vuuren stole millions Now Mr Jooste has fudged the accounts. According to his supposed “message”, he must take it like man. Well, come out and at least let the public know what the damage is. Allow the panic by investors to subside. I read above that he has made huge contributions to racing but in the back of my mind, I think how did he bring about those changes(???). Unfortunatley, its the innocent that lose there jobs etc. How many people have lost huge sums of money investing in Steinhoff, directly or via pension funds etc. I remember something, I read not long ago. The only information you can trust on financial statements is the page number and the actual dividend declared…the rest is …..We live in the age of “Fraudelance”.

  11. Contribution to racing with whose money.? The pension fund has lost more than 15billion Rand and some buttheads talk about contribution to racing . Joke, right

  12. Morally, all that concerns me is… and a question to Mr. Christo Wiese – Sir, what about the working classes ?

    Merry Christmas Everybody

    William Milkovitch

      1. Thank you ..I wonder if Father Christmas will pay the Steinhoff chimney in Stellenbosch a visit in 15 days ?

        William

  13. I think its imperative that if not Mr.Jooste then his racing manager Mr Brugmann should make a statement of the situation so that people who will be affected can try and do damage control to survive. Surely that is the right thing to do if they really care about the future of those who have been so loyal to them over the years.

  14. Say it l like it it is, did Phumelela and certain trainers benefit from the Joostes, love to see the audit trail in the investigation.

  15. so all that r in support of Marcus jooste are in support of the Guptas, and Zuma clan also , they also haven’t been found guilty yet! just thinking aloud

    1. We realise that this is a very sensitive issue with potential knock-on effects in many areas.

      However,we will not drop our standards and reserve the right to moderate comments if they are deemed to be either offensive, insulting, personal, false or possibly unsubstantiated.
      If you don’t feel that you are able to comment within the confines of our policy, you are welcome to express yourself elsewhere.

  16. The editor is clearly censoring comments and shielding the big owners like Jooste, Plattner and Moodley. The establishment is closing ranks and Sporting Post is part of the establishment. Roy Moodley and Hasso Plattner have been in the news lately, and a few of my comments linking these 3 big stories have not been published. It looks like “WMC” is well shielded by the racing press!

    1. Michael Jacobs, you wrote: “The editor is clearly censoring comments and shielding the big owners like Jooste, Plattner and Moodley. The establishment is closing ranks and Sporting Post is part of the establishment. Roy Moodley and Hasso Plattner have been in the news lately, and a few of my comments linking these 3 big stories have not been published. It looks like “WMC” is well shielded by the racing press!”

      Here is my reply:

      As far as I can see, the racing press consists only of Sporting Post. You are dead wrong if you think Sporting Post is part of The Establishment.

      We currently have what I will call a classic “barnyard” moment, as chickens are all about to come home to roost. This is not, contrary to what I have read herein, a “chicken little” moment, because the sky is not about the fall. Quite the opposite, in fact, will be the case, because the holes will eventually be filled by many of those driven from the sport of horse racing by those who are now departing or by their disgust with how the actual Establishment shirked their duties and moral obligations to do what was was in the best interests of the sport and its participants.

      It is axiomatic in the global sport of horse racing that no one man is bigger than the game. When that happens, there is no game. Rather than 4 or 5 guys playing poker in a smoke filled room, the game now has one last glorious opportunity to save itself.

      I hope the true sportsmen and women and stakeholders finally show the courage, passion and intellect to stand up, make themselves heard and take back their game, because if they do, they surely will be rewarded.

      I have not been to the horse sales in South Africa in years. I know plenty of others like me. If all the dominoes do in fact fall, look for a resurgence in buying, selling, racing and breeding.

      1. Barry Irwin, good to have you contributing to these pages. Your last paragraph is particularly intriguing. Are you saying or at least implying that SA racing is biased in favour of the large owners currently and that, if the Jooste racing empire crumbles, you believe that will change? It would be great to have further thoughts on your last paragraph if you are willing to share in a public forum (and I would fully understand if you were not). Thank you.

  17. The Jooste et al saga has far greater consequences than just the racing industry. What we know for sure is that something other than regular was orchestrated under his CEO watch. If the email is genuine, then we know that he concedes to making mistakes … the extent of which will unravel once the audit process unfold.

    So let’s look at what immediate impact this has:
    1. Mr. Jooste will in the interests of all around him including the entities he can be associated with, resign from association due to common sense. The moment he resigned from the Steinhoff board, whatever the reasons, it lead to a reputational risk to the other listed entities;

    Re Racing:
    2. The racing operator has a discretionary power on whom it considers fit and proper to allow into or retain it’s fraternity. Whilst Mr Jooste isnt guilty by admission or otherwise of anything as yet, he has tainted his reputation to such an extent, a reasonable person can only summarize that his racing silks and priviledges ought to be revoked failing which one may argue he is bringing the industry into disrepute. The consequences of this are unfortunate but to not do this will simply mean a cover based on associations.

    The next few days will show the true resolve of many!

  18. This whole story is a joke.Overnight every man and his dog has turned against M J but for the last 8 years or so not a peep.The people who did stand up against him(quite a few are regular posters here) without any support were marginalized and brushed aside and called all manner of things ,these .who really have an axe to grind while they are ( I suppose) very happy as opposed to the dreck on other racing forums have not said a word about having him hung,drawn and quartered.
    Why only now. Faceless and nameless easy to sit and suck things out of the air ,where were you when it mattered .By your lack of balls(steel ones) you let it happen.

  19. MJ aka Mayfair Speculators should do the right thing and withdraw from racing till such time as his name can be cleared ( if possible )- that is the right thing to do. There are many racing people who have been burned by the Steinhoff shenanigans . The people who are seen to be supportive of MJ have been feeding out of the same trough.
    The TBA / BSA must be smiling. Will Breeders who have been burned by the massive collapse of Steinhoff shares withdraw their yearlings from CTS Yearling Sales in protest ?!! Most probably !
    What are the chances that a famous natal stud farm puts in an offer for Klawervlei Stud !!
    Make you think , doesn’t it !!

  20. Not much of a bookeeper meself. As a PA punter, The green and gold stars, black sleeves and cap are very much important. May i suggest you follow the colours over the coming time.

  21. I must take issue with Barry Irwin’s comment that “the racing press consists only of the Sporting Post.”
    I have been an SA racing journo for 45 years – starting with the Rand Daily Mail as their youngest racing editor at age 27 (1974), 33 years with Business Day as well as writing columns for the Citizen’s Racing Express for 12 years (dumped in August!) and for the Sporting Post.
    I am also a dual Equus media award winner – those awards now unceremoniously dumped by the Racing Association. In the UK, Longines Racing Awards are voted on by 40% of the racing press.
    Yes, the Sporting Post is excellent and gets to the heart of every racing issue. Barry is right – they have no allegiances to anyone other than their readers.
    I wrote a long piece in Business Day on Monday on the Jooste saga. There is no escaping one fact – in a country with massive unemployment, he provided many people with a livelihood.
    It’s great that someone with such extensive knowledge of racing as Barry Irwin is a regular contributor to Sporting Post. However, our sport does seem to regularly make the headlines and usually – especially this year – not for the right reasons.

      1. Can you quantify your statement – 1000’s of pensioners and pension funds who lost billions.
        What exactly was the exposure of the ‘ pensioners and pensionfunds’ to the Steinhoff share in terms of percentage of their overall share holdings?
        Don’t be vague when you make accusations.

        1. Estimate R8bn , ECB Bought 800m Euros bonds which is now worth 132m Euro. My understanding is the R8bn is an understatement of actual loss due to reputation damage. Hope this help.

  22. So the chickens are finally coming home to roost for Markus Jooste and co. Christo is just as complicit in the downfall of Steinhoff and its board of directors were either painfully oblivious or willing participants in cooking the books as they continued to siphon unsuspecting shareholders.

  23. Loved the article Martin. Brilliant . Not sure who the writter is . Any chance of you maybe writing an article on the consequences. As you are a lecturer it would be great to hear your view being Human and Animal ,

    1. Christopher Rutledge is a critical thinker with a keen interest in Politics, Economics and Philosophy. He is currently employed as the Natural Resources Manager for ActionAid South Africa and develops and advises on, policy analysis, research, advocacy and campaigns work with specific focus on Natural Resources and Development in Africa while supporting and coordinating ActionAid International’s Africa Extractives Working Group on the African continent.
      He writes in his personal capacity.

  24. Peter, the author is Christopher Rutledge a former employee of one of Steinhoff’s subsidiaries. Our local paper The Witness for which I write occasionally about Horse racing and other things ran it today. In fact I shall write a book about it called Deep Players. Based of the article Clifford Geertz did on Cock Fighting in Bali called Deep Play which argues that the sport reflects the patriarchal power dynamics in the social structure. It is no longer the days of the Broederbond, Rembrandt and the Rothmans July. Not Super-Afrikaners but Super Africans a title of a paper I did on Southern African conservation. Anton Rupert quit the Broederbond and joined Mandela in driving transfrontier conservation in the Peace Parks Project from Stellenbosch. Roy Moodley who looms large in Jacque Pauwe’s book Zuma’s Keepers has also given me great material.

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