Christo Wiese: The pain of betrayal is still there

Christo Wiese: The pain of betrayal is still there

Veteran businessman Christo Wiese says the loss in fortunes of his former family business, Pepkor, is a side note compared to the pain experienced by the betrayal of his closest allies.

Christo Wiese

Companies in Wiese's Titan Group filed papers on Thursday to sue embattled retailer Steinhoff for R59 billion.

Wiese is trying to recover monies lost invested in Steinhoff based on a claim that he was misled during the acquisition of Pepkor and a capital injection into Steinhoff in 2016.

Although Wiese was a non-executive director and chairman of Steinhoff, he refutes the notion that his position rendered him access to structures, and to the real information, saying "you cannot expect non-executive directors to be bloodhounds".

ALSO READ: Christo Wiese resigns as Steinhoff chairman

But on December 8 2017, when Steinhoff's shares had fallen to R7.77, and billions were lost due to allegations of accounting irregularities, Wiese says that occurrence does not compare to the emotions felt when the family business, Pepkor, was hit the hardest.

"I suppose most reasonable people will imagine what one feels like. Not only about the loss of money and things that tens of thousands of people work for over decades to achieve, is just suddenly overnight gone. You can imagine what that does."

The loss in his fortunes can to some extent be attributed to his former close friend, Markus Jooste's alleged role in the plummeting of embattled Steinhoff.  

ALSO READ: Jooste reported to Hawks

"And then all the other elements, the shock because of a clear, almost betrayal, people that were fully trusted, responsible with long track records. So all those emotions one experiences.

Wiese says he is still pondering on which life lessons he should take from this experience.

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