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Steinheist – Rob Rose

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Steinheist – Rob Rose

Rob Rose discusses his book Steinheist. (Camera & Editing: Nicholas Boyd)

9th January 2019


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The Steinhoff crash wiped more than R200-billion off the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, erased more than half the wealth of tycoon Christo Wiese and knocked the pension funds of millions of ordinary South Africans.

When this investors’ darling was exposed as a house of cards, tales of fraudulent accounting, a lavish lifestyle involving multimillion-rand racehorses and ructions in the ‘Stellenbosch mafia’ made headlines around the world. As regulators tally up the cost, Financial Mail editor Rob Rose reveals the real inside story behind Steinhoff. Based on dozens of interviews with key players in South Africa, the UK, Germany and the Netherlands – and documents not yet public – Steinheist reveals:

- How Bruno Steinhoff formed the company by doing business in the Communist bloc and apartheid South Africa;
- How the ‘Markus myth’ started in the dusty streets of Ga-Rankuwa and grew thanks to a ‘bit of luck’ in a 1998 takeover;
- How Jooste insiders shifted nasty liabilities off Steinhoff’s balance sheet to secretive companies overseas in order to present a false picture of the profits;
- How Wiese was lucky to lose only R59-billion and how Shoprite narrowly escaped getting caught in Steinhoff’s web; and
- What happened behind closed boardroom doors in the frantic week before Jooste resigned.

‘An astonishing piece of investigative journalism, exposing greed, plunder and betrayal on a grand scale.’ Jacques Pauw

‘The driving narrative is vintage Rose. That’s because he knows what he’s talking about. Markus Jooste will absolutely hate this book.’ Peter Bruce

‘Reads like a fast-paced manuscript to the movie which must be made.’ Bruce Whitfield



Award-winning journalist Rob Rose is editor of the Financial Mail. After earning a law degree, Rose took on the financial-fraud and corporate-governance beats at Business Day before moving to the Financial Mail in 2007, where he exposed the Barry Tannenbaum Ponzi scheme. He has since worked at the Sunday Times as editor of Business Times and won numerous awards, including the Sanlam Financial Journalist of the Year. His first book was The Grand Scam: How Barry Tannenbaum Conned South Africa’s Business Elite.


Steinheist is published by Tafelberg Publishers


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