Ex-boss of Poundland owner dies of gunshot wound

3 weeks ago 25

Markus Jooste appearing before a parliamentary committee in 2018.Image source, Getty Images

By Will Ross

Africa editor, BBC World Service

Markus Jooste, the former head of the Steinhoff retail group that was at the centre of a huge corporate fraud case in South Africa, has died.

Police said Jooste succumbed to a gunshot wound in hospital, with local media reporting he shot himself at his home in the southern town of Hermanus.

"The circumstances surrounding his death are being investigated," police spokesperson Andre Traut said.

The group included retailers across Europe including the UK's Poundland.

News of the 63-year-old's death came a day after he was ordered to pay a $25m (£20m) fine.

The country's financial regulator said Jooste had played a role in the publishing of misleading financial statements about Steinhoff International Holdings.

The retailer has suffered heavy losses, as have investors in South African pension funds, since an accounting scandal broke in 2017.

Jooste had resigned as chief executive, but denied any knowledge of accounting fraud.

He had also been fined for insider trading in 2020.

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