CAPE TOWN - In the wake of SAP's revelations after it admitted to paying a kick-back to secure a lucrative contract with state owned enterprises, we speak to Ansophie Strydom, the head of integrated communication at SAP
On Thursday the company revealed to US authorities that they paid a 10% commission to a Gupta-linked company to secure a R100 million contract with South African SOEs.
Apparently SAP knew as far back as July 15 that they had paid a commission to secure contracts. The Gupta linked companies are allegedly linked to SOEs Transnet and Eskom.
QUESTIONS FOR SAP
1 Why now? Why release this information now. It has been suggested that SAP knew about the kickbacks or amounts paid to Gupta-linked companies as early as July? Was there a specific reason the company disclosed the information today?
We undertook at the outset to be transparent and to report about the status of the investigation. While it remains ongoing, certain findings at this stage of the investigation allowed for us to report back on certain issues.
2. What actions does your legal team think the SA government and the US government will take after these displacements? What preparations do you think your company will have to make.
We cannot pre-empt those investigations but we will continue to cooperate.
3. Your statement wrote, "we are committed to integrity and compliance" when these deals were made surley someone within the hierarchy thought about these actions and the ethical issues it contravenes. Why did no one speak up? Who were the individuals placed on leave or involved? We saw that at Bell Pottinger, ethics violations permeated the entire leadership structure, how is SAP ensuring this kind of leadership does not exist? Does it exist?
SAP is made up of a team of exceptional, skilled and honest people. We owe it to them to keep our promise to identify and root out all instances of corruption and misconduct. We have taken a variety of steps to address these issues, including the disciplinary action and remedial steps announced.
4. Your statement says these companies were Gupta-related...can you disclose what this means? Did the Guptas own part of the company? Are there any links to President Zuma's family or himself?
The investigation will continue to traverse these issues in order to uncover the details as far as possible.
5. KPMG lost and continue to lose clients after their relationship with the Gupta's was exposed. Is SAP concerned that they may lose clients thanks to this investigation? Have you lost clients following this investigation and for lack of a better word scandal? Who has left you this year?
We cannot comment on our customers. We hope we will be judged on how we responded to these allegations and our remedial measures.
-BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE