Steinhoff Chairperson
Image: EWN

Steinhoff International Holdings chairperson Heather Sonn is being grilled at Parliament, with MPs accusing her of feeding them “recycled information” and “a lot of waffle”.

Sonn has been updating members of four parliamentary committees on the status of the group, including its efforts to stabilise its debt and retain its JSE listing.

But MPs want to know what went wrong in the company and whether anybody other than former CEO Markus Jooste has been referred to the Hawks for investigation.

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Former chief financial officer Ben la Grange is present at today’s hearing but is only expected to face questions later.

MPs want to know what went wrong at Steinhoff that led to the catastrophic collapse of its share price. But they felt they weren’t getting answers from Steinhoff chairperson Sonn.

Finance committee chairperson Yunus Carrim said: “You’re not helping and we’re worried. You must give us legal arguments for why you won’t answer specific questions. You must give us legal arguments why you give us names.”

Sonn insisted she was just trying to answer questions without jeopardising any criminal proceedings that might follow.

“So please don’t see what I am doing here as an attempt to try and withhold anything.”

So far, the only executive who is the focus of a criminal investigation is Jooste, who is the subject of a Hawks investigation.