DA to take legal action against SAP, Gupta-linked CAD House

SAP headquarters in Walldorf Germany

SAP headquarters in Walldorf Germany

The Democratic Alliance will lay charges of money laundering and corruption against the South African component of global software giant, SAP, and Gupta-affiliated company CAD House.

SAP, Europe's top technology company, last week put four senior managers in South Africa on leave and opened an investigation into reports that dragged the company into an escalating influence-peddling scandal. According to media reports, SAP Africa promised to pay a 10% "commission" to CAD House, which is majority owned by the Gupta family's Sahara Systems, if it secured contracts with Transnet.

DA spokesperson on public enterprises Natasha Mazzone said the consultancy with CAD House was "rather irregular considering that SAP is an worldwide software giant which had existing contracts with Transnet".

His track record with SAP dates back more than two decades from when he first started at the newly formed SAP subsidiary in South Africa. Furthermore, CAD House is a small company which specialises in selling 3-D printers and which allegedly had no previous relationships with SAP or expertise in this field.

The party said it will lay charges of corruption and money laundering against directors and employees of SAP South Africa, members and employees of CAD House, as well as "any other person who had material interests in this dodgy deal".

Other suspended executive are Deena Pillay, who serves as the chief financial officer of SAP Africa, Lawrence Kandaswami, who is the managing director of SAP South Africa and Mehmood Khan, who is the chief operating officer of SAP Africa. "These dealings must have gone higher up in SAP and all those involved should be held accountable", said the DA. "The firm has previously been found guilty of bribery in numerous countries and the revelations that SAP SA had ignored a number of red flags about CAD House is even further cause for concern", Mazzone said.

The party also criticised Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba. It said the SAP deal was the seventh dodgy deal that happened under Gigaba's watch as Public Enterprises Minister and "it is highly unlikely that this is coincidental". "Where there is smoke there is fire".

"The SAP Africa management team will continue to deliver on its promise to help African business run optimally", said Kuehnemann.

The SAP investigation will be led by executive board member Adaire Fox-Martin who said the firm would not tolerate any form of misconduct.