Software giant SAP hires US law firm
JOHANNESBURG: South Africa’s opposition DA said yesterday it would file a criminal complaint against German software giant SAP over allegations of corruption involving friends of President Jacob Zuma. SAP, Europe’s top technology company, last week put four senior managers in South Africa on leave and opened an investigation into reports that dragged the company into an escalating influence-peddling scandal. South African media reported last week that SAP paid kickbacks to CAD House, a firm partly owned by the politically connected Gupta family and Zuma’s son Duduzane. The payments allegedly helped SAP clinch a deal worth R1 billion with rail and logistics company Transnet. CAD House sells 3-D printers and has no software experience that would make it a logical go-between for SAP and Transnet. “The DA has reason to believe SAP South Africa procured the services of CAD House purely because they wanted access to its owners, Duduzane Zuma and the Guptas,” the DA said in a statement. “The DA will, therefore, proceed to lay charges of corruption and money laundering against (SAP South Africa and CAD House).” Reuters has not been able to independently verify the allegations. A Gupta spokesperson, CAD House, SAP and a spokesperson for Zuma did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The Guptas, Indian-born South Africans, and Zuma have previously denied wrongdoing. SAP has hired an independent international law firm based in the US to conduct an external investigation and will run its own internal inquiry.