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Markus Jooste suicide: More details emerge

The former CEO of South African retail giant Steinhoff, Markus Jooste, died near Cape Town, according to local media reports on Thursday.

According to local media, the 63-year-old businessman shot himself, but details around his death remain sketchy as police refused to share full information.

“Hermanus SAPS opened an inquest docket for further investigation following the death of a 63-year-old man,” a South African Police Service (SAPS) spokesman told AFP, confirming the deceased was a businessman.

Police arrived at a home in Hermanus, about 120km from Cape Town, Malcom Pojie, a SAPS provincial spokesman said, and the deceased succumbed to a fatal gunshot wound after arriving at a hospital.

Jooste’s home is situated in the Kwaaiwater area, between the town centre and Voëlklip, and is reportedly the most expensive property in the town.

According to Reuters, Western Cape police spokesperson Colonel Andre Traut said in a statement that: “It is alleged that the victim sustained a gunshot wound at around 15:20 (local time) at Kwaaiwater.”

Traut said police were investigating the circumstances, adding that no foul play was suspected.

Daily Maverick reported that Jooste shot himself in the head on a footpath in front of a neighbour’s home close to the beach.

He was bandaged and transported in an ambulance to Hermanus Medi-Clinic, but succumbed to his injuries shortly after arrival.

Markus Jooste was slapped with a R475 million fine

Jooste’s death comes a day after he was slapped with a R475 million fine by the country’s financial market watchdog Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FCSA).

The ex-CEO is accused of using fake transactions to artificially inflate the group’s profits.

“The investigation found that Mr Jooste… published false, misleading, or deceptive statements about Steinhoff International Holdings” which he knew to be “deceptive” the FCSA said in a statement on Wednesday.

The FCSA’s issued a April 19 deadline for the payment.

Steinhoff was put under investigation in 2017 on suspicion of fraud, with a reported $6.6 billion hole in its accounts.

Jooste resigned but denied any knowledge of accounting fraud.

The South Africa-based company, which is listed in both Frankfurt and Johannesburg, saw nearly 98 percent of its share value wiped out as it faced a barrage of litigation from aggrieved shareholders and business partners, including former chairman C.

In June a German court issued an arrest warrant against Jooste after he failed to appear for the start of his trial in April last year.

Investigations into the death are ongoing, police said.

Married with three children

Markus Jooste was born in Pretoria and attended Affies.

He attended both UCT and Stellenbosch universities.

He was married to Ingrid Jooste and has three children.

By Garrin Lambley with additional reporting by Agence France-Presse

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