La Grange's input 'insightful', say MPs

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Members of Parliament have found the evidence presented by former Steinhoff CFO Ben la Grange to be "insightful", providing more clarity on what went wrong at the retailer.

The hearing, held on Wednesday, was attended by La Grange and his lawyer John Dickerson SC. Also in attendance were chair of Steinhoff's supervisory board, Heather Sonn; Louis du Preez of the management board; and regulators such as the JSE, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority, and the Hawks.

By contrast, MPs found the presentation by Steinhoff to be more of a "PR exercise" and Sonn's answers to be too "general".

La Grange's detailed responses prompted Standing Committee on Public Accounts Chair Themba Godi to ask why he had to be subpoenaed first to appear before Parliament.

To this, La Grange explained that he was always willing to cooperate with Parliament and had been scheduled to appear before Parliament on August 16. When he was informed of the new date - August 29 - he indicated he could not attend without his lawyer. But subsequently his lawyer became available, making it possible for him to attend Wednesday's hearing.

Although "saddened" by the impact of the fallout if the Steinhoff share price, and the money lost affecting many, La Grange said he believed he did not do anything "deliberately wrong".

Former Steinhoff CFO Ben la Grange has arrived at Parliament - he will present evidence before committees. @Fin24 @TeamNews24 pic.twitter.com/hpEkoJIpgd

— lameez omarjee (@LameezOmarjee) August 29, 2018

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