Markus Jooste, the former Chief Executive Officer of Steinhoff, has died under circumstances that are currently under police investigation. Reports suggest that Jooste took his own life on Thursday.

According to sources close to Jooste,  the business tycoon shot himself during an arrest.

Jooste’s death comes amidst a backdrop of legal challenges and regulatory scrutiny. The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) recently imposed a hefty penalty of R475 million on him for his role in the publication of misleading financial statements by Steinhoff. The company was embroiled in an accounting scandal in 2017, confirmed by audit firm Deloitte.

Despite legal battles, Jooste’s appeal against a fine imposed by the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) was upheld last year. However, he faced additional legal troubles, including an arrest warrant issued by a German court.

Born in Cape Town in 1961, Jooste rose to prominence as the CEO of Steinhoff International, leading the company through a period of significant expansion and acquisitions. However, his tenure ended abruptly in 2017 following allegations of accounting irregularities, which sent shockwaves through the financial world and led to investigations across multiple jurisdictions.

Jooste’s death marks the end of a once illustrious career, now overshadowed by scandal and legal turmoil. His legacy serves as a cautionary tale about the pitfalls of unchecked ambition and corporate governance failures.

As investigations into Jooste’s death continue, this remains a developing story.