13 Jul SAP's Adaire Fox-Martin on 'kickbacks' scandal

We’re departing from the usual interview format in this episode of the TechCentral podcast to bring you a very important teleconference press call with SAP executive board member Adaire Fox-Martin, who will be jetting into South Africa on Friday to deal with the scandal that has erupted around the German software maker’s local office.

In the call, which took place late on Thursday afternoon, Fox-Martin set out SAP’s position, its plan to conduct both an internal investigation and to commission an international law firm to do an external audit.

In case you missed the background to this story, SAP on Thursday placed four members of its South African management team on administrative leave and promised a wide-ranging probe into allegations of bribery and corruption involving the Guptas. The multinational law firm will "vigorously review contracts awarded by SAP South Africa".

The reaction by SAP marks a distinct shift from the position it had taken earlier, when SAP Africa MD Brett Parker lashed out at local media outlets for publishing the allegations and threatening “various possible actions”.

The genesis of all of this was a report, published on the Daily Maverick and News24 on Tuesday and written by investigative journalism outfits amaBhungane and Scorpio, in which it is alleged that the software maker agreed to pay a 10% “sales commission” to a company controlled by the Guptas to secure a contract worth at least R100m from state-owned Transnet.

According to the report, the terms suggested a “thinly disguised kickback arrangement”. The press teleconference was a fiery affair, and we thought it particularly important to publish the full audio. Don't miss it!
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