SAP: Internal Probe of South Africa Unit Finds 'Indications of Misconduct'
By Gabriele Steinhauser
JOHANNESBURG--German software maker SAP SE (SAP.XE) said Thursday that an internal probe of its South Africa unit found "indications of misconduct" as well as more payments to companies tied to a family at the center of a political corruption scandal in the country.
SAP said in October that it reported itself to the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission over payments made to entities related to the Guptas, close friends of former South African president Jacob Zuma who are being investigated by South African authorities for alleged corruption.
The Guptas have been accused by government officials and civil-society groups of using their friendship with Mr. Zuma to gain lucrative state contracts and influence government business.
Mr. Zuma, who stepped down as president last month, and the Guptas, who once controlled a corporate empire stretching from media to mining, have both denied wrongdoing.
SAP said Thursday that between December 2014 and June 2017 it paid a total of 112.7 million South African rand ($9.5 million) to three companies tied to the Guptas as "commission" for contracts with South Africa's state-owned rail and port operator, Transnet, and state power company Eskom.
In October, SAP, which is listed in the U.S. and Germany, said it discovered ZAR94 million in payments made between December 2015 and November 2016.
Philipp Klarmann, head of investigations and anticorruption at SAP, said the company was in constant contact with U.S. authorities and cooperated with their investigation. Yet he said it is too early to say whether SAP could face fines or other sanctions.
"We have decided not to account for these matters at this point," Mr. Klarmann said.
Write to Gabriele Steinhauser at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
March 08, 2018 05:49 ET (10:49 GMT)Copyright (c) 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.