On Thursday morning Moneyweb published what it said would be the first of a series of articles based on leaked documents and emails from inside Steinhoff.
"The leaked documents and emails we have obtained seem to show how Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste and current and former colleagues Dirk Schreiber and Siegmar Schmidt appeared to have conspired to manipulate the company’s accounts as far back as 2014 and possibly even further," the publication said.
In an exchange between 17 and 22 August 2014, the three discuss financial engineering as Steinhoff prepared its accounts for the financial year that ended two months before.
After reviewing documents Jooste finds a R3.6 billion hole in the numbers because of bad loans held by furniture retailer JD. He then proposes paying a commission of some R1.9 billion to sell that loan book, so taking it off Steinhoff's balance sheet, while also landing the company a suspicious €100 million in extra profits.
Receive a single WhatsApp message every morning with all our latest news. Sign up here.