SAP 'kickbacks' probe still ongoing - TechCentral

SAP ‘kickbacks’ probe still ongoing

A team of experts from international law firm Baker McKenzie is still busy with its investigation into a “kickbacks” scandal at the South African subsidiary of German software giant SAP, the company said on Thursday.

In response to a query from TechCentral, SAP spokeswoman Ansophie Strydom said Baker McKenzie is “reviewing and scrutinising large volumes of data, talking to a variety of stakeholders and parties, and conducting interviews with all relevant persons”.

“They are also engaging and cooperating fully with the appropriate authorities,” Strydom said.

“While we do not yet know when the investigation will be concluded, we remain committed to sharing the findings of the investigation publicly, once the investigation has been completed.”

The German enterprise software vendor placed four executives from its Africa office, including SAP Africa MD Brett Parker, on “administrative leave” in July over the allegations, which were published on the Daily Maverick and News24 and written by investigative journalism units amaBhungane and Scorpio.

The report alleged that SAP paid a 10% “sales commission” to a company controlled by the Guptas to secure a contract worth at least R100m from state-owned Transnet. 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”.  — (c) 2017 NewsCentral Media

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