SAP has come out strongly against reports today that it may have been involved in up to R100-million in kickbacks to Gupta-associated companies.
Brett Parker, MD of SAP Africa, says: “The accusations made around the use and payment of sub-contractors are unfounded and unsubstantiated.”
The reports form part of amaBhungane’s investigation into the #Guptaleaks emails, suggesting that SAP paid a 10% commission to Gupta-associated CAD House to secure a R100-million Transnet contract.
AmaBhungane and Scorpio, the Daily Maverick’s investigative team, today report that emails indicate that, in August 2015, SAP signed a sales commission agreement with CAD House, a small company that sells 3D printers and was associated with Gupta-owned Sahara.
The deal was for CAD House to receive 10% of a R100-million Transnet contract.
However, amaBhungane investigations into the leaked e-mails suggest that a total of R99,9-million was eventually paid to CAD House – which would account for about R1-billion of deals concluded through a 10% commission agreement.
“SAP is dedicated to conducting every aspect of our business responsibly and in accordance with the highest global compliance and legal standards,” Parker says.
“As part of its day to day business, SAP South Africa engages various subcontractors, SMMEs and partners and it has always been and will continue to be SAP’s policy to partner with a wide pool of organisations that qualify for our partner programme, if those organisations successfully meet the exacting criteria of our comprehensive global due diligence and certification processes.
“SAP has taken strong exception to the reports issued in the media today, and is investigating various possible actions,” he adds.
In August 2015, according to amaBhungane, the commission agreement was signed with CAD House, offering it 10% if it was the “effective cause” of getting Transnet to sign the R100-million SAP contact.
In its report, amaBhungane questions why SAP needed to pay a sales commission at all, since Transnet was an existing customer, and identified as one of just 300 global strategic customers.
In 2015, enterprise ICT partner T-Systems was implementing SAP solutions at Transnet, and was even nominated as a finalist in the 2015 Global SAP HANA Innovation Awards, for being among the first organisations in the world to implement the in-memory solution, at Transnet Freight Rail.
Back in 2010, SAP and Transnet implemented the first instance on the African continent of the SAP Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) solution, an implementation that resulted in substantial operational savings for Transnet.
The amaBhungane report suggests that the Transnet commission agreement could have been the first of many. It says an initial R17-million was paid by SAP to CAD House in April 2016. Of this, it says that R2-million was transferred from CAD House to Sahara and R2,3-million to an unknown company. Shortly after that, another R9-million went to Sahara and R1-million to the Gupta’s bank Baroda.
Three months later, it would appear that SAP paid R9,2-million, of which R7,7-million went to Sahara and R1,1-million to the unknown company. In December 2016, amaBhungane reports that evidence points to an SAP payment of R73,7-million, of which R71,1-million was transferred from CAD House to three Sahara companies.
SAP is headquartered in Germany, and registered as a European company.
Picture: Brett Parker, MD of SAP Africa