Another big company has been accused of helping the Gupta family launder millions of rands through dodgy deals, leveraging the family’s close relationship with government.
German software giant, SAP, has been implicated in the Gupta leaks, with fresh revelations that the group paid a Gupta-owned company R100 million for helping it score R1 billion in government contracts.
According to investigative journalists at amaBhungane, who continue to release fresh details contained in more than 100,000 leaked emails every week, correspondence between SAP and a Gupta company called CAD House, shows that SAP used the company as a ‘sales partner’ to secure contracts with Transnet.
As part of the agreement, SAP said that if CAD House as the “effective cause” of SAP landing a Transnet contract worth R100 million or more, it would get 10%. Industry players have said that a 10% commission for a sales agreement is unusually high.
In the year that followed, SAP paid CAD House R99.9 million, meaning that R1 billion worth of contracts were secured by the Gupta company.
According to amaBhungane, SAP has denied it paid “kickbacks” to CAD House, saying that the company was ‘well-positioned’ to act as an extension of its sales force.
This, despite the fact that CAD House was a company that specialised in selling 3D printers, and not a marketing company.
CAD House, which is virtually unknown, is linked to the Gupta empire through Sahara Computers, with leaked emails showing that the company was run as a subsidiary of Sahara.
Commission agreements are not uncommon for businesses like SAP, though the outlier in this case is that Transnet was already a SAP customer, making it appear as if the group was looking for a ‘clincher’, not a marketing team.
According to the emails leaked, as quoted by amaBhungane, CAD House’s “main purpose” was to “assist [SAP] in obtaining Customer consent to the Customer Contract and Customer’s requisite signatures to such agreement”.
The agreement with CAD House was signed off by SAP South Africa chief financial officer, Deena Pillay, amaBhungane said, who was questioned on the deal, but could not explain why CAD House was specifically used as this ‘sales force’.
It is further alleged that the kickback paid to CAD House was laundered and fed back to the Gupta empire.
SAP has denied being aware of any money laundering, telling the investigative journalists that its contract was with CAD House, and that group only.
You can read the full investigation on amaBhungane.