March 19, 2018

SAP Faces US Probe Over South African Corruption Allegations

29 October 2017, 02:57 | Frank Carlson

US justice department launches investigation into SAP-Gupta dealings

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Hawks spokesperson, Hangwani Mulaudzi allegedly told a local media house that the priority crimes unit is in the process of finalising plans to travel overseas.

He said it was important to have all the outstanding information when the investigators arrived in the U.S. and Germany. That should also be an indicator of our seriousness.

He said the Hawks will approach the USA and German authorities overseas, and SAP will be part of the probe, but the Hawks haven't interviewed any SAP employees as yet.

On Thursday Adaire Fox-Martin, a member of SAP's board, said: "We can not emphasise enough how seriously the SAP executive board takes these allegations, or how committed we are to managing this process in a transparent, ethical and responsible way". "We had to report this to U.S. authorities". Despite Transnet's exoneration, Mazzone remains firm in her belief that because SAP has voluntarily disclosed information to United States authorities, it must now do the same thing in South Africa.

While there's been no evidence of payments made to South African government officials or Eskom and Transnet employees, four contracts it had in place with these state-owned entities resulted in commission payments of up to R100 million to a company it understands to be Gupta-related.

This comes after SAP said it had voluntarily disclosed its breach of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in relation to allegations that its SA operation paid kickbacks to a Gupta-linked company and had initiated disciplinary procedures against three of its employees.

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SAP has admitted payments of up to R100 million were paid to a Gupta-linked company that assisted with contracts with Eskom and Transnet.

SAP appointed Baker McKenzie, whose preliminary findings confirmed that misconduct relating to the sales commission did happen.

"To date, the investigation has determined that, between December 2014 and November 2016, SAP concluded two contracts for the sale of software to Transnet and two contracts for the sale of software to Eskom, each with the assistance of an entity now understood to have been Gupta-related", SAP said.

In response to SAP's statement, Transnet said the probe had preliminarily vindicated Transnet of wrongdoing.

Mazzone said SAP have voluntarily disclosed information to USA authorities and it must now do the same thing in South Africa, and volunteer this information to the South African Police Service (SAPS).

The DA is calling on police to fully investigate the matter. It is SAP's intention to release complete findings at the end of the investigation.

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