Business Maverick

CORPORATE SCANDAL

Former Steinhoff executive granted bail of R150,000 as fraud case unfolds

Former Steinhoff executive granted bail of R150,000 as fraud case unfolds
(Photo: Waldo Swiegers / Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Stephanus Grobler faces charges of racketeering, fraud, manipulation of financial statements and failure to report fraudulent activities.

The Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Monday granted former Steinhoff director Stephanus Johannes Grobler (64) R150,000 bail.

Grobler and former Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste had been asked to present themselves in court last Friday to face charges of racketeering, three counts of fraud involving R21-billion, manipulation of financial statements and failure to report fraudulent activities. 

Grobler, who spent the weekend in jail, faced the music alone after Jooste committed suicide last week. 

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) noted the following allegations in a statement issued on Monday:

  • Between 2014 and 2016, Jooste and Grobler conducted racketeering activities within the Steinhoff group;
  • During that period, Jooste played a major role in the management of the criminal enterprise; and
  • Grobler created documentation of transactions that supported the fraudulent transactions used to inflate and falsify the annual financial statement of the Steinhoff Group.

Grobler told the court on Monday via an affidavit that he intended to plead not guilty to the charges, and would prove his innocence. He further asked the court to release him on bail. 

“However, the State opposed his bail application because Grobler committed a very serious offence, which carries a penalty clause of a billion rand or a life sentence. Furthermore, the prosecutor told the court that the accused was a flight risk because he is a citizen of the world with business connections all over the world,” the NPA said. 

However, magistrate Nicca Setshogoe granted Grobler bail of R150,000 on condition that:

  • He reports to the Brooklyn Police Station in Pretoria twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays;
  • He hands over his two passports to the investigating officer and does not apply for a new one;
  • He hands over his two firearms to the police;
  • He does not leave Gauteng without informing the investigating officer; and
  • He does not interfere with State witnesses.

The matter was postponed to 26 June for the finalisation of investigations.  

According to the Steinhoff annual report for 2016, Grobler was part of Steinhoff’s executive committee. Grobler worked for Steinhoff for around 19 years, in various roles including company secretary and director of treasury and financing

A guide to the Steinhoff scandal

Gallery

Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Mkili Muzenha says:

    Worst criminals in SA are white collar criminals

  • Vincent Britz says:

    Funny how quickly the corrupt ANC government departments go after white crime, but yet the black crime that has destroyed this country. They do absolutely nothing or the just plainly stuff the whole case up!
    Not a single politician, minsters, family member or friends have ever been arrested for there crimes of stealing billions of taxpayers money for their own pockets.

  • Kevin Heydenrych says:

    This has nothing to do with race. This is all about greed and power

  • Elise Levendal says:

    I thought, that the phrase : White Collar Crime is a legitimate phrase for the kind of crime committed by people working in a e.g. and office?

  • Nuts Lange says:

    And here I thought I had problems in my life? How does Grobler even sleep with all these charges hanging over his head is beyond me, just as how one can be so greedy and unscrupulous in causing other people financial losses for the sake of self enrichment. (eg; pensioners; some of those victims have also committed suicide I believe?) Well, the law must take its course, no sympathy here; self induced Mr Grobler….

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

X

This article is free to read.

Sign up for free or sign in to continue reading.

Unlike our competitors, we don’t force you to pay to read the news but we do need your email address to make your experience better.


Nearly there! Create a password to finish signing up with us:

Please enter your password or get a sign in link if you’ve forgotten

Open Sesame! Thanks for signing up.

We would like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick...

…but we are not going to force you to. Over 10 million users come to us each month for the news. We have not put it behind a paywall because the truth should not be a luxury.

Instead we ask our readers who can afford to contribute, even a small amount each month, to do so.

If you appreciate it and want to see us keep going then please consider contributing whatever you can.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

Become a Maverick Insider

This could have been a paywall

On another site this would have been a paywall. Maverick Insider keeps our content free for all.

Become an Insider
Elections24 Newsletter Banner

On May 29 2024, South Africans will make their mark in another way.

Get your exclusive, in-depth Election 2024 newsletter curated by Ferial Haffajee delivered straight to your inbox.