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 March 24, 2024

South Africa's leading racehorse owner Markus Jooste found dead

A top racehorse owner was just found dead. 

The BBC reports that the body of 63-year-old Markus Jooste was found on Friday, March 24, 2024.

For those unfamiliar with Jooste, he was, for a period of ten seasons, South Africa's leading racehorse owner, owning, at one point, as many as 250 horses - albeit he was a co-owner with some of the horses.

This, however, is only part of what Jooste is known for. He is also known for being the former head of the Steinhoff retail group, which is based in South Africa but also had retailers in Europe. If the name "Steinhoff" sounds familiar, this is because it is the same group that was recently a the center of a huge corporate fraud scandal.

Here's what we know so far:

At the time of this writing, Jooste's death is still under investigation. But, some details have already been reported, including details that may provide some insight about how and why he died.

The local police department has revealed that Jooste was found with gunshot injuries. When he was initially found, it appears that he may have still been alive. But, he ended up succumbing to his injuries at the hospital.

The big question, of course, is who shot Jooste, and the answer appears to be Jooste.

Local media has reported that he shot himself at his home, which is located in Hermanus, South Africa.

It has to be emphasized, though, that an investigation surrounding Jooste's death is still underway.

The "why?"

The circumstances of Jooste's death likely explain why it is that it happened.

The BBC reports:

News of the 63-year-old's death came a day after he was ordered to pay a $25m (£20m) fine - said to be the biggest in South Africa's history. On Friday, police said he had been notified that an arrest warrant had been issued against him shortly before he died.

This fine and arrest warrant was in relation to the Steinhoff International Holdings fraud scandal.

The BBC reports:

The country's financial regulator said Mr Jooste had played a role in the publishing of misleading financial statements about Steinhoff International Holdings. Fake transactions worth $6.5bn were made by Steinhoff executives in order to inflate profits, an audit by PwC found . . . Mr Jooste resigned as chief executive, but denied any knowledge of accounting fraud.

The fine that Jooste was recently hit with was for alleged insider trading, and the arrest warrant was from Germany, where Steinhoff had retailers.

Written By:
Robert Ayers

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