SAP has concluded its investigation into software contracts with Transnet and Eskom, and has found that 128,6-million was paid to Gupta-linked companies Global Software Solutions (GSS) and CADhouse.
However, there were no payments made to Eskom or Transnet employees, or to any government officials.
The investigation found irregularities found in the management of third parties and a lack of adherence to SAP’s own compliance processes.
Three senior SAP South Africa employees were placed on administrative leave in July 2017, and have since resigned, which means they are no longer subject to the company’s disciplinary processes. The fourth individual was placed on administrative leave but has since returned to work.
SAP initiated the investigation when allegations about payments to Gupta-linked entities were raised by amaBhungane in its GuptaLeaks expose.
In November 2017, SAP notified the national head of the Directorate for Priority Crime and Investigation (Hawks) of its willingness to cooperate with any investigation they may undertake.
The company also continues to cooperate with the US Department of Justice and the US Securities and Exchange Commission, and remains committed to sharing all findings with both local and international authorities.
Since the incident came to light, SAP has made changes to its global compliance processes and has allocated additional legal compliance staff to the SAP Africa market unit.
The company has also strengthened its independent Compliance Committee in the SAP Africa region, and augmented the mandatory annual compliance training that every SAP Africa employee must complete. This includes the certification of SAP’s Code of Business Conduct, with anti-bribery rules.
Meanwhile, all South African partners are going through revised due diligence processes.
In addition, SAP continues to investigate the public sector business in South Africa going back to 2010. If SAP identifies any further matters of concern, it has committed to address them.
“This journey has taught us profound lessons and provided us with reasons to reflect on our business, our processes and our responsibility towards our employees, customers, partners and the South African public,” says Adaire Fox-Martin, member of the Executive Board of SAP SE, who leads SAP’s business in Middle and Eastern Europe (MEE); Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA); and Greater China.
“The investigation has confirmed that even strong compliance systems are vulnerable, and therefore require eternal vigilance. While we cannot turn back the clock, we can promise to do better.
“To this end, we would like to reiterate the apology we made last year to our stakeholders in South Africa. We remain committed to this country and the rest of the continent, and to growing our business and investment here.”