CAPE TOWN - German software giant SAP has come under fire for their resistance to approach South African authorities. The Hawks has since confirmed that they are investigating SAP as part of their state capture probe.
This comes after SAP announced yesterday that it has reported its alleged Gupta-linked kickbacks to US authorities for further investigation. They also stated that they are in the midst of initiating a disciplinary process against three employees.
Hawks spokesperson, Hangwani Mulaudzi allegedly told a local media house that the priority crimes unit is in the process of finalising plans to travel overseas. This will see the documents related to the state capture being probed. Four investigators are reportedly working laboriously on the state capture probe.
“We are in the process of interviewing role players and finalising the legal aspects. And we are collaborating with our US counterparts”, said Mulaudzi.
South African authorities
According to a member of the SAP executive board who leads the company’s business in EMEA, MEE and Greater China, Adaire Fox-Martin confirmed that SAP has not had dealings with the South African authorities regarding the wrongdoing the probe has found.
SAP head of investigations and global compliance Philipp Klarmann defended this decision by saying:
"SAP is very active globally," he said. “We had to report this to US authorities." SAP has not said it will not disclose to the South African authorities, it has just not made a decision on its approach, Klarmann said.
Watch the SAP spokesperson's statement below:
The non-disclosure of evidence to SA authorities has stirred great upheaval with the Democratic Alliance public enterprises spokesperson Natasha Mazzone fighting back.
Mazzone insisted that SAP disclose evidence to SA authorities.
SAP has since shrugged off this appeal by stating that it would report its Gupta-linked accounts to prosecutors at the US Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission. SAP added that the report would come after an internal investigation uncovered “indications of misconduct in issues relating to the management of Gupta-related third parties”.
However, the preliminary findings of SAP’s internal investigation have not revealed any evidence that payments were made to the South African government, Eskom or Transnet officials.
In response to SAP’s statement, Transnet said the probe had preliminarily vindicated Transnet of wrongdoing.
“The investigation has not revealed any evidence of payment to any Transnet employees,” said Transnet spokesperson Molatwane Likhethe. “The payments were as a result of a commission agreement between SAP and its suppliers.” Despite Transnet’s exoneration, Mazzone remains firm in her belief that because SAP has voluntarily disclosed information to US authorities,it must now do the same thing in South Africa.
“Following SAP’s admission today, the police have an obligation to investigate fully and to leave no stone unturned,” she said. “SAP must hand over any and all information that may have bearing on the investigation”, said Mazzone.
On the other hand, the Congress of the People (Cope) grunted at South Africa's own authorities including the Hawks and the NPA for their lack of silence and action, reports Independent Newspapers. Cope also fired shots at the state capture and its findings.
The president has known of serious allegations of state capture, involving our state and himself, for close to 18 months since the public protector wrote to him, and yet he has done nothing, noted Cope. They then went on to question the president's competence.
As the judge president posed somewhat rhetorically: "Is this the conduct that one would expect from a reasonable president of a constitutional democracy?".
- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE