The Democratic Alliance said on Monday that it plans to lay charges of money laundering and corruption against SAP South Africa and the Gupta-owned CAD House following allegations that the German software giant paid R100m in kickbacks to secure business at state-owned Transnet and other state entities.
The DA’s move comes after SAP late last week suspended four top executives at its South African office pending the outcome of internal and external investigations into the allegations.
Claas Kuehnemann has been appointed as interim MD for Africa following the suspension this week of MD Brett Parker over allegations that the software maker paid the kickbacks.
A report by amaBhungane and Scorpio published on the Daily Maverick and News24 alleged that SAP paid a 10% “sales commission” to CAD House to secure the Transnet business. According to the report, the terms suggested a “thinly disguised kickback arrangement”.
The report, which drew on information contained in the so-called “Gupta Leaks” e-mail trove, said that in August 2015 SAP signed a “sales commission agreement” with the Gupta-controlled CAD House, which sells 3D printers.
“The terms suggest a thinly disguised kickback arrangement: if the Gupta company were the ‘effective cause’ of SAP landing a Transnet contract worth R100m or more, it would get 10%,” the report stated. In the year that followed, SAP paid CAD House R99.9m, it added, “suggesting SAP used the Gupta influence network to drive sales of a billion rand to Transnet and other state-owned companies”.
DA MP Natasha Mazzone described the arrangement as “rather irregular considering that SAP is an international software giant which had existing contracts with Transnet”.
“Furthermore, CAD House is a small company which specialises in selling 3D printers and which allegedly had no previous relationships with SAP or expertise in this field,” she said.
“The DA has reason to believe that SAP South Africa procured the services of CAD House purely because they wanted access to its owners’ — Duduzane Zuma and the Guptas’ — connections within Transnet with a view to securing a lucrative contract.” — (c) 2017 NewsCentral Media