EDITORIAL | If it’s OK for Steinhoff, it should be OK for Ace and Sodi
The NPA’s attitude towards the company assisting financially to investigate its case smacks of inequality
From SA’s biggest accounting fraud at Steinhoff comes one of the most magnanimous “gifts” to the country’s poorly funded corruption-busting institutions — the Hawks and National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
“You don’t have funds to investigate us? Well, no problem. Let’s fund you so you can investigate us, whatever the consequences to ourselves,” seems to be Steinhoff’s poisoned chalice to the bodies’ chiefs, who seem at sea on how to prosecute the case.
And the authorities, represented by NPA spokesperson Sipho Ngwema, say there is nothing wrong with the NPA receiving R24m in assistance from the subject of an investigation. In any case, he asserts, the old board responsible for the R150bn fraud has been replaced. Christo Wiese, once Steinhoff’s biggest shareholder, has stepped aside, as has Markus Jooste, the CEO on whose watch poor people’s pensions disappeared. In addition, the funds from Steinhoff go directly to forensic investigators, not government institutions...