SAP suspends South Africa management staff


German software giant SAP said it has placed its South African management team on “administrative leave” pending the outcome of a probe, to be led by a law firm, into allegations of bribery and corruption involving the Guptas.

SAP said in a statement that it has initiated an independent investigation spearheaded by a multinational law firm and overseen by executive board member Adaire Fox-Martin to “vigorously review contracts awarded by SAP South Africa”.

The investigation will look into among‚ other allegations‚ whether Gupta-linked company CAD House received multi-million rand kickbacks for helping the German-based SAP secure contracts with Transnet.

SAP executive board member Adaire Fox-Martin said all contracts awarded by SAP South Africa would now be placed under review.

Fox-Martin said the company had initiated an independent investigation‚ which she would oversee.

Fox-Martin‚ who heads the company’s Europe‚ Middle East and Africa business‚ said in a statement: “Consistent with company policy, SAP has brought in senior expert staff across all relevant functions while the current management team has been placed on administrative leave pending the findings of the review,” the company said in Wednesday night’s statement.

“SAP stands for integrity, transparency and compliance,” said Fox-Martin in the statement. She leads SAP’s business in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and China.

“We strive to be exemplary in the manner in which we serve our customers and partners, and in how we treat our employees. Full transparency and integrity are imperative at our company, and we will not tolerate any misconduct.”

The statement said SAP policy is to “carry out all company activities in accordance with the letter and spirit of applicable legal requirements and therefore maintain the highest standards of business ethics”.

“SAP strongly adheres to its Global Code of Business Conduct and is committed to follow disciplined and transparent transactions.”

She is expected to travel to South Africa to “address the concerns of customers, partners and employees”, it said.

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