Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

New York-listed German software group SAP paid Gupta-family-owned CAD House R100m to secure contracts with state-owned enterprises, investigative journalism team amaBhungane reported on Tuesday.

This is a new scandal for SAP, which in February paid a $3.9m fine to the US government’s Securities and Exchange Commission for bribing Panama officials to secure government business.

An amaBhungane investigation of the leaked Gupa e-mails found SAP not only paid CAD House a suspiciously high sales commission of 10%, but set deadlines so short it seemed unlikely the Gupta subsidiary could be adding much value besides using its influence over state employees to secure contracts.

The e-mail trail of Transnet’s purchase of an SAP product called Hana in 2014 showed a familiar pattern between Gupta companies and state-owned enterprises.

A day after meeting Transnet, the MD of SAP’s South African office Lawrence Kandaswami forwarded a presentation marked "strictly confidential" to Gupta employee Santosh Choubey.

Kandaswami’s message read: "This is to prompt movement on the opportunity." Choubey immediately forwarded the e-mail to Trillian Capital owner Salim Essa, with a note saying: "Sir — FYI — supporting for Hana from SAP."

The e-mails do not show what Essa did after receiving Kandaswami’s e-mail but Transnet confirmed that it agreed to go ahead with the proposed SAP Hana deal in late 2014, amaBhungane reported.

The leaked e-mails showed similar correspondence involving Eskom and other Transnet contracts.

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