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3 leading global companies linked to Gupta corruption scandal

By Wesley Diphoko Time of article published Jul 12, 2017

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No one has been left untouched by the #GuptaLeaks. While government entities are known, corporates so far have been been left untouched. However, the recent e-mails have implicated some of the companies on a number of occasions. The following are respected corporates that are known to have been in bed with the Guptas:


SAP is the world’s largest business software company - founded in 1972 and headquartered in Walldorf, Germany. The software giant provides software systems to multinational corporations and governments.

SAP is behind every entity that seeks to run its business efficiently. Transnet is one of those entities. Recent reports have revealed that to clinch Transnet business, business software giant SAP agreed to pay “10percent sales commission” to a company controlled by the Guptas. The evidence suggests that the company - a little-known outpost of the Gupta empire - was deliberately interposed to obscure Gupta involvement and to launder the proceeds to them.


KPMG is a global network of independent member firms offering audit, tax and advisory services.

Their member firms’ clients include business corporations, governments, public sector agencies and not-for-profit organisations.

KPMG is trusted for a consistent standard of service based on high order professional capabilities, industry insight and local knowledge.

Lately the respected global auditing firm has not lived up to its standard if the recent reports are anything to go by. KPMG is no stranger to controversy. Its report was used to pursue Pravin Gordhan during his tenure as Finance Minister.

This report was later disputed and dismissed as irrelevant because it was a draft report. KPMG is in the news again, due to its links with the Guptas. This time around for the matter that relates to them not raising concerns about payment for wedding expenses.

According to an investigation conducted by amaBhungane, Linkway, a Gupta company, “paid” for the wedding expenses; and was “reimbursed” by the supposedly unrelated Accurate Investments.

KPMG offered no explanation in Linkway’s audited financials why a supposedly unrelated third party in Dubai would pick up the Guptas’ R30million wedding bill - or why a wedding was a bona fide business expense.

The net effect of this accounting sleight-of-hand is that not only was the wedding effectively paid for from funds diverted from the Free State government’s coffers, but the Guptas paid no income tax on this windfall.

This income was offset against Linkway’s expenses, resulting in Linkway’s receiving zero taxable income from its Free State windfall.


McKinsey is a worldwide management consulting firm that conducts qualitative and quantitative analyses in order to evaluate management decisions across the public and private sectors.

This “trusted” consulting firm has also been embroiled in a scandal related to the Guptas.

It was hired by Eskom for R1billion to improve efficiencies and cut wasteful expenditure.

Instead the deal McKinsey struck with Trillian Capital Partners mocked Eskom’s problems by handing at least R266million of Eskom’s money to a company that in the words of McKinsey’s own executives’ was merely there to receive 30percent of the contract “in return for not much work”.

In the past few days advocate Geoff Budlender released his report into allegations of state capture carried out by Trillian, the company majority-owned by Gupta associate Salim Essa.

The report details how McKinsey agreed to subcontract 30percent of their Eskom work to Trillian under the guise of “supplier development”, a programme intended to up-skill small, black-owned businesses.

Instead documents from Budlender’s report as well as in the #GuptaLeaks show that Trillian planned to siphon huge chunks of the money it received to a company part-owned by the Guptas and another company in Dubai.

These are just some of the companies that are known to be champions of corporate governance around the world. Recent reports show that they need more scrutiny than they are currently receiving. Business Report will be shining a spotlight on businesses that are abusing the trust of society.


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