SAP appoints interim MD amid investigation into Gupta links

SAP headquarters in Walldorf Germany

SAP headquarters in Walldorf Germany

It had earlier been, through a series of leaked emails, that SAP had paid a Gupta-linked company as much as R100 million in apparent kickbacks, for helping the software group secure contracts with Transnet.

DA spokesperson on public enterprises Natasha Mazzone said the consultancy with CAD House was "rather irregular considering that SAP is an global software giant which had existing contracts with Transnet".

On Monday, AmaBhungane and Scorpio revealed that in August 2015, SAP signed a "sales commission agreement" with a small Gupta-controlled company that specialises in selling 3D printers.

"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".

Should the DA go ahead with its plans, SAP directors and employees as well as members and employees of CAD House will be charged with corruption and money laundering.

"It is simply not enough that the implicated SAP South Africa executives are scapegoated, these dealings must have gone higher up in SAP and all those involved should be held accountable", said DA.

Other suspended executive are Deena Pillay, who serves as the chief financial officer of SAP Africa, Lawrence Kandaswami, who is the managing director of SAP South Africa and Mehmood Khan, who is the chief operating officer of SAP Africa. "The firm has previously been found guilty of bribery in numerous countries and the revelations that SAP South Africa had ignored a number of red flags about CAD House is even further cause for concern".

"The SAP deal is the seventh dodgy deal that happened under Gigaba's watch as Public Enterprises Minister and it is highly unlikely that this is coincidental".

"Where there is smoke there is fire", Mazzone said.

"The SAP Africa management team will continue to deliver on its promise to help African business run optimally", said Kuehnemann.

The interim boss has been named as Claas Keuhnemann - who has been with SAP for 25 years - and the interim chief financial officer as Peter David who is the regional CFO for the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region.

"The accusations made around the use and payment of subcontractors are unfounded and unsubstantiated".

The SAP investigation will be led by executive board member Adaire Fox-Martin who said the firm would not tolerate any form of misconduct.

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