South Africa

Not true that we should expect Stalingrad tactics from Jooste – family trustee

Bruce Whitfield gets a range of responses after Tuesday's raids on the properties of Markus Jooste, former CEO of Steinhoff.

– Disgraced ex-Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste is lying low after Tuesday's raids on his properties by the Reserve Bank

– Jooste's advisers have said not to speak to the press, but to answer to the allegations against him at the appropriate time in the appropriate forum says Rian du Plessis, Silver Oak trustee

There is still no word from disgraced ex-Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste after Tuesday's raids on his properties by the Reserve Bank.

"There's a sense of relief that finally the rusty wheels of justice are moving" after the collapse of Steinhoff five years ago, comments Bruce Whitfield.

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RELATED: Reserve Bank targets Markus Jooste (ex-Steinhoff CEO), starts attaching assets

We can expect Jooste to adopt a Stalingrad style of defence, Christo Wiese said in an earlier conversation with Mandy Wiener, avoiding a direct reference to Jacob Zuma.

Himself a former chairperson of Steinhoff, then-billionaire Wiese entrusted a large portion of his wealth to the company and Jooste, most of which he then lost.

I think there must be no doubt about it that he will follow in the footsteps of some other notorious characters who shall remain nameless… and he will no doubt adopt a Stalingrad defence style as well, but in the end it won't work.

Christo Wiese, Former Chairperson – Steinhoff

RELATED: The Germans have now charged Markus Jooste – Christo Wiese

Whitfield interviews Rob Rose, editor of the Financial Mail and author of "Steinheist".

He agrees with Wiese's prediction, noting that Jooste has employed tactics to avoid testifying in various forums before.

When he was called to Parliament to testify he used every legal defence to stop from testifying, and eventually had to.

Rob Rose, Author – Steinheist

I imagine he'll do what he's been doing upwards of five years already, which is laying low… until he absolutely has to defend himself and then he probably will step out of the shadows with some form of defence, no matter how unbelievable it might seem to many people.

Rob Rose, Author – Steinheist

There's enough to bring a case against Steinhoff's Jooste – Rob Rose

Whitfield also talks to Rian du Plessis, who is a trustee of Jooste's personal family trust, the Silver Oak Trust.

Du Plessis relates how he first met Jooste as a student at Stellenbosch University, which led to a lasting personal friendship.

After the bombshell dropped… Markus asked me, if something was to happen to him, he needed someone that he trusted to look after his wife and children. And that's the role that I accepted and that's the role that I fulfill… I don't have any knowledge of what happened at Steinhoff.

Rian du Plessis, Trustee – Silver Oak Trust

Du Plessis sketched the context of the court order that led to the raids on Jooste's properties.

My understanding is that what has happened here is what is often referred to as 'Anton Piller', and that is the Reserve Bank has received a court order entitling them to obtain information from computers of Markus and I think also at Lanzerac, and phones and whatever records there are…

Rian du Plessis, Trustee – Silver Oak Trust

…and then they're also entitled to attach assets… and then once attached, especially the moveable assets were then placed back under the control of Markus and Ingrid.

Rian du Plessis, Trustee – Silver Oak Trust

What he understands is that the confiscated data is then "mirrored" by the independent forensic expert who was sent in. Then the respondents, which include du Plessis himself, will be given the opportunity to say why the information cannot be given to the Reserve Bank's investigating team.

Concerning the assets attached, he says, certain fixed assets were identified along with moveable assets. Pending the outcome of the investigation, those assets cannot be sold according to the court.

"But these haven't been seized, is my understanding."

My friend has asked me, will I please look after his wife and children in the circumstances, and I've agreed to that.

Rian du Plessis, Trustee – Silver Oak Trust

I don't condone whatever Markus has done, in fact I have no clue what he's done. I've read in the press all of the allegations… and I too would like these things to come to a head and brought to a conclusion.

Rian du Plessis, Trustee – Silver Oak Trust

Du Plessis's understanding is that Jooste also wants to have his day in court.

I have no reason to believe that he will perform whatever this Stalingrad approach is… My information from Markus personally is that his advisers have advised him not to speak to the press, but to receive each of the allegations and to answer them at the appropriate time in the appropriate forum.

Rian du Plessis, Trustee – Silver Oak Trust

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This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Not true that we should expect Stalingrad tactics from Jooste – family trustee

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