SAP suspends South African management team
Vendor’s executive board places senior management on “administrative leave” amid graft allegations
Business applications giant SAP has launched an anti-corruption investigation into allegations that its South African staff arranged kickbacks for a Gupta-linked firm CAD House for securing tenders with state-owned companies.
The investigation‚ which is to be conducted by an international law firm‚ follows the company's executive board ordering that SAP's South African management team be placed on "administrative leave" pending the investigation's outcome.
According to a Times Live report, the investigation will look into among‚ other allegations‚ whether Gupta-linked company CAD House received multi-million rand kickbacks for helping the German-based SAP secure contracts with state owned rail, port and pipeline company Transnet, and power utility firm Eskom.
CAD House is owned by President Jacob Zuma's son Duduzane and businesses within the Guptas' Sahara Group. SAP announced the investigation late on Wednesday.
SAP said in a statement that it has initiated an independent investigation which will be overseen by executive board member Adaire Fox-Martin to vigorously review contracts awarded by SAP South Africa.
SAP has also launched an internal review as part of its utmost commitment to compliance and will make the results of the investigation public once it is concluded, the company stated.
SAP said it has brought in senior expert staff across all relevant functions while the current management team has been placed on administrative leave pending the findings of the review.
"SAP stands for integrity, transparency and compliance," said Fox-Martin, who leads SAP's business in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and greater China. "We strive to be exemplary in the manner in which we serve our customers and partners, and in how we treat our employees. Full transparency and integrity are imperative at our company, and we will not tolerate any misconduct."
Media reports have raised questions surrounding contracts and third-party business practices in SAP's South Africa operations.