Soft­ware gi­ant SAP hires US law firm

The Star Early Edition - - COMPANIES & NEWS -

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.

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