Reuters reports that an investigation will be organised by South Africa’s Special Investigating Unit (SIU), to probe whether a kick back of more than 35 million rand ($2 million) was paid for a state contract with SAP, a German software firm.
The SIU investigation was organised by South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa, after the country’s anti graft agency started its own probe into a 671 million rand ($45 million) deal SAP signed with the water ministry in 2016.
After becoming entangled in several corruption scandals under the former President Jacob Puma, SAP is one of the many firms struggling to hold on to its reputation in South Africa. In a bid to reduce corruption, Ramophosa has launched several investigations into government and private companies.
An interview with SIU’s spokeswoman Nazreen Pandor, revealed that the Unit had received information from a whistleblower that for facilitating a deal between the water ministry and SAP, a company controlled by an official had received more than 35 million rand. She added that SIU will be ready to present the finding of its probe into SAP’s work for the water ministry in six months.
An SIU investigator also told Reuters that based on a preliminary survey of contracts between the water ministry and SAP, it’s highly likely procurement rules were broken in the SAP deal.
The investigator said “we are already deep into planning for the investigation, if we find evidence of criminal wrongdoing, we will immediately motivate for a case to be opened”.
SAP’s statement to Reuters said “SAP continues to cooperate with both the South African and US authorities in their ongoing investigations”. Under the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the US Department of Justice and US Security Exchange Commission opened an investigation to probe the activities of the German firm.