Soft­ware probes Gupta kick­backs

The Star Early Edition - - BUSINESS NEWS - Reuters Frankfurt

GER­MAN com­pany Soft­ware said yes­ter­day it was mount­ing an in­ter­nal probe af­ter a me­dia re­port al­leged it had paid kick­backs as part of a wide-rang­ing South Africa gov­ern­ment bribery scheme that has en­snared fel­low soft­ware-maker SAP.

“Soft­ware is not aware of any non-com­pli­ant busi­ness prac­tices in its South Africa op­er­a­tions,” a com­pany spokesper­son told Reuters. But he added: “Based on cur­rent me­dia spec­u­la­tions, the com­pany has started an in­ter­nal re­view.” The spokesper­son said Soft­ware could not com­ment fur­ther un­til its re­view had been com­pleted.

Con­tracts

The re­port, pub­lished yes­ter­day by the Amab­hun­gane and the Daily Mav­er­ick’s Scorpio in­ves­tiga­tive re­port­ing teams, al­leges that Soft­ware en­tered into an kick­back deal with a po­lit­i­cally con­nected South Africa fam­ily to win con­tracts.

It said Soft­ware agreed to pay an in­ter­me­di­ary com­pany linked to the Gupta fam­ily, who are close al­lies of Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma, in or­der to win deals with state-con­trolled com­pa­nies or agen­cies or pri­vate firms.

Ear­lier this month, SAP named a new ex­ec­u­tive team in South Africa af­ter it put four se­nior man­agers on leave, pend­ing its in­ves­ti­ga­tions into al­le­ga­tions that it was in­volved in mak­ing kick­backs to win gov­ern­ment con­tracts.

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