SAP denies Gupta claims, despite suspending execs

On Tuesday, SAP's South African management strongly denied media claims that the company had paid a Gupta-linked firm R100 million to help them land a deal with Transnet.

Picture: Twitter/@SAP

JOHANNESBURG - Global software firm SAP says it won't explain what happened between a statement by its South African bosses threatening action against media organisations making claims against it and the decision by the board in Europe to suspend those executives.

On Tuesday, SAP's South African management strongly denied the claims by Amabhungane and the Daily Maverick, who said the company had paid a Gupta-linked firm R100 million to help them land a deal with Transnet.

But now, four executives have been suspended and an independent investigation is underway.

SAP Executive Board Member Adaire Fox-Martin says while they have suspended these executives, they still deny the claims against them.

“SAP continues to reject the allegation that was placed in the press. We have a zero tolerance policy for non-compliance within the company and as an executive board, we felt it was very important to get to the bottom of this.”

When asked if the board in Europe knew in advance that executives here were about to issue that statement saying it was investigating possible action against the media organisations, she said: “We also have access to the PCs etc, of the employees who are currently on administrative leave.

Fox-Martin has also promised full transparency in this investigation, but won't say who is actually conducting it.