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JOHANNESBURG — Business software giant SAP held a press conference on Thursday in which it provided an update on its investigations into allegations of kickbacks to Gupta-linked companies. The biggest revelation from the briefing was that SAP, just days after amaBhungane broke the story in July, decided to approach the US Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) in a voluntary disclosure. It’s clear that SAP knows that it risks having engaged in illegal activity, but it’s waiting on an internal probe to be finished before taking its next step. Meanwhile, the DoJ will now have at least two Gupta-linked investigations on its desk as the FBI is investigating two Gupta nephews for alleged money laundering. Interestingly, the Hawks, late on Thursday, said that they’re also getting involved and plan to head to Germany to investigate state capture. Can we expect arrests before Christmas as Paul O’Sullivan recently forecast? Below is the full transcript of Thursday’s press briefing with Nicola Leske (Chief Communications Officer), Adaire Fox-Martin (Member of the Executive Board of SAP) and and Philipp Klarmann (Chief Compliance Officer). – Gareth van Zyl
Welcome everybody. Thank you for coming at such short notice, but that’s how it goes sometimes. Adaire Fox-Martin will give us an update of investigation. Just so you know, it is by no means finished, but we said we wanted to be transparent and this is our effort and approach to do so. Everything is on the record unless Adaire, for some reason says it is not, but everything should be on the record. So, if you could just do one thing, when you ask a question please do state your name and the publication you work for. Before the Q&A, we give Adaire the opportunity to give us a brief summary of what’s going on, so thank you.
All right, I’m good to go.
We’re good to go.
All right, well, good morning and thank you very much for your time today. Let me maybe just go through where we are in terms of some of the salient points and some of the key issues, maybe put a little bit of colour on them in my commentary and then of course, at the end of this, very happy to take any questions that you may have. So, first of all, as Nicola Leske has highlighted, what we’re providing here, is a status update on our investigation to date. First of all, I would like to address, very upfront, the fact that on the topic of this investigation SAP voluntarily disclosed the situation that we found ourselves in in July, to the US authorities with the responsibility of enforcing the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. We’ve been working with the DoJ since that time and we have been working in an extremely cooperative manner with the DoJ and the US authorities since that time.
What we’re sharing today is the initial outcome of the investigation that DoJ, Baker McKenzie, and SAP’s own internal investigation at this point in time though, are still ongoing, but largely what we’ve uncovered through our work with Baker McKenzie. So, let me just, clarify a couple of points around the Baker McKenzie investigation. Following the July allegations in the media, we retained Baker McKenzie – which is an international law firm – to conduct an investigation on behalf of SAP. We looked at three elements of scope to the investigation: the transactions with Transnet and Eskom, our public sector business as a broader second level of scope, and our business in general. We gave a timeframe dating back as far back as 2010 up until the present day. Initially, I have to admit, it was also a little bit frustrating with the time that this is taking me.
The universe of documents that we began to work on was 8.4-million documents initially. We had Baker McKenzie use a series of technologies to assess those documents in the first instance which, came down to a set of approximately 150 000 and from that set, then a second set of documents sacra around 30 000. Plus, that meant that we had paralegal, human and legal review of all of those documents. We also conducted numerous interviews with employees during this time. Immediately following the July media report, we put four of our employees on administrative leave. I would also tell you that we did also, in July; promise transparency to the South African public and that is part of our actions today in terms of providing this update. We had six deals with Transnet and Eskom during the period, December 2014 and June 2017 and I believe in the press release we’ve provided details around the total value of those deals and the commission payments to sales agents in relation to those deals.
The investigation that we have undertaken has today not revealed any evidence of a payment to a South African government official or any attempt to improperly influence any such official. It has, internally, from our perspective, uncovered indications of misconduct in relation to the management of Gupta-related third parties. To this end, we have instituted formal disciplinary proceedings in accordance with South African labour law against three of the four employees who are previously on administrative leave. We have been, I think, very clear from the outset that we would not tolerate misconduct or wrongdoing. The investigation has found that the fourth employee had no material involvement with Gupta-related entities and he will be returning to work full time.
We had a presentation to our supervisory board from Baker McKenzie on the 11th of October and following that board meeting we made the following decisions as a business: We will eliminate sales commissions on public sector deals in countries with a corruption perception index (and that’s according to Transparency International of below 50). South Africa, in that index is at 45. This obviously calculates or incorporates a large number of countries, not just South Africa and this will apply effective immediately to all countries of the 180 that SAP operate in below 50. We’ve built some extensive additional controls and due diligence into the relationships that we have with third parties who represent SAP, for example, value-added resellers and we’ve included some additional audit functions into those processes. We made the following changes in terms of our SAP Africa business.
We will appoint some additional full-time legal compliance officers in the SAP Africa office. They will be part of the SAP Africa Market Unit and also report directly into SAP’s global compliance organisation and we will empower a compliance committee in the SAP Africa region, consisting of local management, compliance, and other corporate functions so that the importance of compliance business is ensured and elevated as a priority for all of our employees. We continue to engage with Baker McKenzie as they complete their investigation and we will continue to engage with the DoJ and SEC, as they complete their investigation.
A couple of points outside of the process and from my perspective: First of all, as an organisation SAP has been deeply humbled by these allegations of wrongdoing and in our press release today, we have apologised wholeheartedly and unreservedly to our customers, to our partners and to the public here in South Africa. I want to emphasise how seriously the SAP executive board, our supervisory board and our Chairman, Hasso Plattner, take these allegations and how committed we are to managing the ongoing investigation on the changes we plan to make in our business.
We obviously look to regain the trust that we have enjoyed in South Africa over the previous 20 or so years of our operations here in this very important market for us. Finally, I would just like to have a vote of thanks to you, the journalistic community in South Africa. I will say that the level of investigative journalism that we’ve seen here is exceptionally high and we appreciate the opportunity that this has afforded us to address elements of our process and aspects of our business for the good of all of our customers, partners, and employees. So, at this point I’m happy to take any questions that you may have.
Thank you, Adaire. I’d just like, for the sake of journalistic investigation that we just applauded, want to start with Susan, just to close the circle.
When we spoke as a group of media to you in July, you said that at the time, SAP still rejects the allegations. If that’s still true, do you still reject the allegations and perhaps, if you do, you can just elaborate on what you’re actually saying this misconduct is because I think that could be interpreted quite broadly.
That’s a great question, thank you very much for allowing me the opportunity to clarify. As I’ve indicated, to date our investigation has uncovered no evidence that any SAP employee paid by the South African official, or for that matter to an employee of Transnet or Eskom, or attempted to improperly influence any of those parties. In terms of wrongdoing, obviously we’re now in a situation where we have three employees who will be subject to this disciplinary process, which will again operate with independence according to the nuances of South Africa labour law, so I can’t comment on too much on the specificity of it because that would be subject to that process, but in terms of wrongdoing, it was really around the implementation of the compliance process procedures and policies of SAP as it pertained to this particular set of transactions.
Okay, I think the problem is that, for instance, we know what KPMG’s disclosures are. It was so vague that I think people read a lot into it and so that’s what I’m just asking, is if, we can just be clear about, I mean, is this an administrative thing, you didn’t dot the I’s and cross the T’s or are you saying that it was problematic that those Gupta-related entities were being paid because I think one of the big questions that it comes back to is, “What did they actually do to deserves those payments?”
Yes, there’s no doubt that when I look at that aspect of it, that’s certainly a question in our mind as a result of the crisis that we have been through. What did they actually do to warrant a commission payment of the amount that we can see here and so that’s certainly one aspect of it? Other aspects would be around the information that was fed into the due diligence process that we would typically undertake in this process and nuances like that. I don’t know if there’s anything else you feel more comfortable quoting on.
No, that’s exactly the point. We’re looking at the due diligence process, we’re looking at our internal process and of course, we are looking also at the business decision to bring those entities into the equation here.
You go ahead, if you could state your name, thanks.
Hi, I’m Gabriele Steinhauser from the Wall Street Journal. I have two questions. First of all, you say you self-reported to the US authorities. What about the South African authorities? Is there suspicion that you may have also broken South African law and then the documents that are recorded here were payments to the company called CAD House? Is that the payments you’re talking about here? And were there contracts that were more recent for which no payments were made? Was that company Cutting Edge or what was the name of that?
First of all, with regards to South African authorities, we have had no interaction with South African authorities to date. Sorry, Gabriele, the question with regards to the second part of your question?
So, we have I think, all reported the payments to CAD House. Is that because they wanted to manage to make up the R107m in SAP payments? Are those the CAD House payments and then there were two more recent contracts at Eskom for which you said more payments were made. What was the Gupta-related entity, was it Cutting Edge ?
The four deals that resulted in total customer payments to SAP over approximately R660mn, that’s around 48 million USD and in commission and payments to sales agents, Global Softech Solutions, GSS, and CAD House and that totalled R94mn or 6.8 million USD. There were two additional transactions that were reviewed, but there had been no evidence that payments have been made or will be made in relation to those transactions.
Was that the same two companies or was it a different company?
I really don’t know off the top of my head, in terms of that.
You can imagine the level of detail that I’m just running through here
Yes, you have to be careful; we will come back to you on this.
On the first part of the question, can I just ask a follow-up? Why have you not had any interaction with South African authorities because if you have a suspicion that you’ve broken anti-corruption laws, surely those would also fall under South African anti-corruption law. If you promised transparency to the South African public? Does that not also include the follow-up, why just on the legal follow up in US. Why not a legal follow-up in a country where this actually may have taken place and where people were damaged by this action there.
There are different obligations here. The SAP, as you know, is a US-listed company, we have an executive board made out of some US nationals, and we are very active of course globally. Therefore, we have to report this to this to these US authorities, we believe and we have not yet said that we are not disclosing it to the South African authorities. I think this is something which is under consideration, but we have not made a decision there.
Sir, did you want to go first?
Sure. Kyle from the Times Newspaper, how are you? I obviously have many questions and I could probably keep you here all day, but the most important one is, the investing has not revealed any evidence of a payment to South African government officials including Transnet and Eskom employees, that wasn’t the allegation. The allegation was, CAD House was brought on board, and the money was paid to them as a sales commission. In July, I think it was said that their expertise was required, are we clarifying this now, and is it a sales commission that was paid to this company, on what basis?
Did they secure the work for SAP, could not do that by themselves and then, to my mind, this wasn’t the allegation. Can we just clarify that point maybe, please?
Those elements that you’re asking about, Kyle, they’re still subject to that DoJ ongoing investigation and I’m probably going to frustrate you, but I’m not going to be able to comment further on that.
The reason why you’ve decided to eliminate sales commissions, it leads then to the impression that because this was a questionable sales commission, you’ve decided to end this practice because you’ve obviously found that there’s an avenue for wrongdoing, would you agree with that?
I think, for any organisation that works through third parties, you know, there is an opportunity for you to ensure that you are vigilant and precise around how those third parties are engaged and in this case we have decided to remove this concept of business development partners from our business framework, not just in South Africa, but across all countries that fall below that 50 level.
That’s good and then on the third parties, in the statement you mention that there’s an audit clause in your contracts with these third parties.
How deep does that audit clause allow you to go? Is it only then the related party or can you go into the parent companies, can you go into their complete sort of financial scope, how does that audit clause work? Can you clarify that for us a little?
I don’t know if we can.
It depends on the contract.
Yes, it does. It varies contract by contract.
Let’s just say we go as far as we can.
As we can and according to the contract that we have with our partner.
We mentioned that there are some third party entities here, the Guptas. Is that exclusive only to CAD House, Cutting Edge, and Global Softech? Are you looking at any of the other at this point?
In terms of the…?
In terms of any agreements or any influence that they would have had on SAP contracts.
We are looking at those that we have business with.
Those we have business with.
Only those you have business with. Okay, fine and then can you give us the names of the employees please?
Or their designations?
I think even in July, we didn’t name our employees and I think in deference to our employees, that we’re not going to do that now or their denouncements.
Or the positions that they held?
Thank you very much.
Are they all South Africans?
We really don’t want to comment on that. If you were in that situation, you wouldn’t want your employer to comment on that.
If you’ve broken the law, you, you know…
Well, we’re not there yet.
So, let’s be protective of the employees, let’s not prejudge.
Hello, I’m just wondering, what would be the potential outcome of these investigations, is it high or –?
I’d love a crystal ball to be able to tell you the answer to that question. All I can really reiterate is that we are cooperating fully and providing all of the information through to doing the job.
What did they ask you in terms of the information that they were seeking, the DoJ and so on?
What information did they need from you?
Well, Baker McKenzie is the interface between SAP and the DoJ and Baker McKenzie is providing the DoJ access to any information that the DoJ request around this investigation.
There were some [other] contracts, so those were cancelled with Transnet and SAP? Are you guys still working with them?
There are two transactions, as said there’s been no payments made on those transactions. We are still, I guess, in a status where those transactions are still out there in terms of being live and we are working through a process to do the right thing around those particular transactions.
So, the contracts weren’t cancelled?
Well, we must remember that both Eskom and Transnet are using SAP software today to run their businesses and are valued customers of SAP, by the way.
Hi, I’m Gareth van Zyl from BizNews. I think it was the Wall Street Journal that reported recently that SAP had pulled Brett Parker’s statement from their website. Can you give us the backstory to why that was done? Was it your legal team that advised that? Was there anything in that statement that was not checked by the international offices first? Can you explain what happened there exactly?
I presume that you’re referring to the initial statement that was made in relation to the allegations that were made.
The reason why that was pulled was that at this point in time the executive board appointed me as the investigating lead on behalf of SAP and the SAP executive board made a statement around the process and the procedure of the investigation and our approach to it and at that point in time that statement superseded any statements that had gone before it and therefore, the previous statement was removed.
And Brett Parker is still employed by SAP?
Yes, Brett Parker’s still an employee of SAP.
And all the suspended employees from team?
From a disciplinary procedure perspective, we’re obviously following the letter of the law here and labour law in South Africa. The situation is that those employees were on administrative leave. That administrative leave is now a formal suspension as we go through this disciplinary procedure for three of the four.
Yes, for them it’s now been several months that they’re in this situation.
Are you giving a timeline as to when you expect everything to be concluded?
Look, there’s no doubt that the timeframe has been one that has been a little frustrating shall we say, but I would also reiterate that it’s been frustrating from the point of view of, we initially said we might be able to produce an outcome at this point in time other than the current timeframe today. However, what I think is very important to remember her is, the extent of the investigation, the fact that it is being rung by this independent entity and that we are really working to ensure that we do a credible independent investigation. From the point of view of our employees, they have remained our employees. Up until this period of time we have treated them with respect and maintained an appropriate connection with them during this process, but I’m sure that I can appreciate their frustration.
On a scale of one to ten, what is the risk of a Gupta linked company having paid state-owned enterprise a bribe to state officials to help secure SAP business?
I can’t really comment on that.
I have two questions. I’m from the German Press Agency. Let me start with the German question. Since SAP still has a German angle to it, have you had any contact with the German authorities on this matter? Are they interested in this?
No, not at this point in time.
The second question is the measure that you’re announcing today pegged on the Transparency International Index, how many countries are actually below the boundary of 50, or how many of the countries you operate in, are below 50?
Do you have that data?
Actually, you just go onto our website. I looked at it yesterday because they have the 2016 inset. I think it’s 176 countries who are in the Index and unfortunately, way too many are under 50 and actually the number of countries being under 50 is increasing, but you can just look, they have a table, you can see it right there.
Sorry, perhaps if I can just go back to the six deals that you’ve outlined where you had SAP being involved with the two related entities. Does one of those deals, does that include the lead to cash deal with Transnet that was proposed from what I recall in late 2015 and it was going to be an R18mn deal, a joint venture between SAP and Global Softech Solutions where Global Softech Solutions was meant to be walking away with R500mn out of R800mn of that deal and when SAPS submitted their bid document, it seems like they actually said, “Look, the price is increasing because we’ve never done business with this company and we’re picking this one company to do business with. So, I guess my question is twofold. We had heard that that confinement had actually been renewed early this year and that deal at the time that all of this came out, was very much about to be signed with Transnet.
So, perhaps if you can just confirm, has that deal now been signed, is that one of those deals that falls within perhaps the two that has been made and also, in terms of, you know we reported on that particular deal in July 2016, I think we made it very clear that it was a Gupta-related entity, there’s an extraordinary amount of money that was flowing to this company that was proposed to be flowing them. Why did not that raise red flags and why was there not an investigation that was initiated at that point? Was that a governance failure that that didn’t raise massive alarm bells at the time? I guess the same question would then apply to the Department of Water affairs deal that the EFF had raised red flags about the- supposedly there were huge commission payments made again on that one.
The other thing that I wanted to go back to was the last time we’d spoken to you, you had talked about there being a strict global approval process and you had said there’s a very clear delegation authority in terms of our global policy and that DOA defines transactions approved at a low level, a regional level or a global level and my colleague, last year, at the time, so we know the size of these deals, what level were they approved at and that was something that you had said would be part of the reviews, if you could just touch on that. Now that we know the size of the deals, what level were they approved at and what level should they have been approved at if there is any difference between those two levels?
Susan, many of your questions are extremely well-considered and very detailed and some of them I won’t be able to comment on because they’re part of this ongoing process, but maybe in terms of just one or two of the comments and the things that we can do here –
Yes, unfortunately we can’t comment in that level of detail because this is part of the investigation.
Yes, but sorry at this point?
Both the 2016 and the situation just described, are part of the investigation, so we are looking at the holistic picture here, which means that we are not confined only to the situation that you have just described with Transnet and Eskom. That’s very important to note.
Just on that point, the Baker McKenzie scope covers 2010 all the way through to present day, it covers the two transactions that were mentioned in terms of Transnet and Eskom, it covers then all of our work as a second step, as second scope with public sector entities and then thirdly, the broader business operations of SAP here in South Africa.
But I think just in terms of – because you had said the delegations, apparently that’s a very set standardised thing in SAP, perhaps if you could just clarify, knowing the size of these deals?
But I mean you would have a better idea of the exact breakdown of each deal, but knowing size of these deals, should these deals have been approved at a regional level, should they have been approved at a global level and was that done?
Yes, delegation of authority isn’t always about the value of the deal, it’s often about other aspects of the deal such as the terms and conditions and the discount that is applied to that transaction. Just to show a value of a deal doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a deal that would automatically require a DOA that’s higher than either a market unit or a regional cover. So, it can be aspects such as the terms and conditions that are applied or the discount level that is applied and that element of the DOA and how that applied to this set of transactions is part of that continued discussion and investigation here.
There were some more questions about the articles that they had Paul said, in 2016 already and why that didn’t raise any red flags.
We’re looking at those.
Just clarify, under the scope of the DoJ’s investigation, what does it exactly [inaudible] just as – does it involve all the contracts from 2010 up to now or does it involve [crosstalk]?
To be truthful, we don’t know. We’re simply cooperating and providing all of the information that we are being asked for and the scope will be defined by the DoJ itself.
They take it from there.
I’m just asking so that I just want to make sure that it is linked to this Gupta story.
Hi, it’s me again. You mentioned that you’re looking at the process of the due diligence, the way information is fed through, do you think that – because I don’t want to ask a question about at what level these deals were approved and that forms a part of the investigation, so let’s try to rephrase that. Let’s ask, do you think that the people operating at the level of where the approval was handed out from with fairly incorrect information? Is that your opinion and also how far would you say Baker McKenzie is wrong in the investigation?
The last one is a lot easier.
Not in terms of percentage. I think that we’ve conducted extensive documentation review from all of the devices provided, all of the internal documentation, we’ve conducted extensive interviews and we believe that from the South African Transnet/Eskom scenario, that we were really looking now to conclude that at the end of this year, right, so you can see in terms of timeframe roughly what was sent along the line that we would be – again, in terms of your question which is very carefully worded, I’ll get that, in terms of that particular approach, that’s something that we really were driven into. Right, where did we not function according to process and procedure?
Sorry, just as a follow-up, this will be the last question.
No, it’s okay Kyle.
This press conference is a little bit confusing. You’ve come to us and you’ve told us something, but most of what you’ve told me now is that you can’t tell us a lot because the investigation really isn’t far enough along yet. Why the decision to call this conference now and what are you really trying to communicate to us here?
I guess we recognised, if I’m being truthful, that that was a risk that we were taking in terms of holding the press conference at this time and we’ve called it a media round table all right, because we recognise that there are certain aspects and hard decisions that we have made that we were felt were appropriate to communicate those decisions made that we have had employees on administratively and that we have moved forward to the decision and those employees that we have declared to the DoJ.
Also, that we are cooperating with our investigation that we have as a result of the information, that we have to date made decisions round the payment of sales commissions to all third party agents in countries below that level 50, that we are introducing additional audit and due diligence stages into our processes, that we are increasing the teams that look at that aspect of our business and work with our front facing team. So, we felt that those were things that were important aspects to share because we sensed that there was a degree of frustration around the timeframe in terms of the length of the investigation and we wanted to give you some insight in terms of why the investigation was taking the length of time that it was and where we are to date on that, but I respect your remarks and they are part of the decision process that we went through ourselves.
It’s a big internal discussion too that.
Honestly, very, very significant, but nevertheless, I’m also very conscious that as an organisation here. We have a duty of care to our employees, our customers, our partners and we also feel, to the South African public as a whole and we want to be able to provide a status update, so we didn’t term this as concrete findings, absolute outcome. This has been pitched as a status update of where we are, so that we can begin to share the work that we’ve done so far, the decisions that we’ve made so far and then recognise that it will be a continuing and ongoing investigation.
There we are and then, Gary?
So, given that you say you don’t actually have any hard evidence, I mean, this looks suspicious, their due diligence internally was done in the wrong way otherwise you would have never done business with these Gupta-related parties. Therefore, in a way what you’re saying sounds very similar to what McKenzie actually said right? We should’ve known who we were doing business with.
If you are saying that actually those are indications of misconduct under US law, does it surprise you that other companies who are in a similar position aren’t taking similar action?
Well, look I guess I can only comment on SAP here. We made a decision to disclose to the DoJ and we did that on the 13th of July almost immediately following the release to the media and we did that because I guess we didn’t know what we were dealing with at that point in time and we wanted to ensure that we had not just a credible legal firm, international legal firm independent legal firm like Baker McKenzie involved in a very comprehensive investigation, but that we had incorporated the capabilities of the DoJ into this process if we needed to. I’m not sure that other companies have done similar things from the South African environment in similar circumstances and essentially that is the decision that we made at that time and I can’t comment on what other companies did or didn’t do.
As you know, the SAP board up to and concluding our founder and chairman, Dr Hasso Plattner, our supervisory board, our executive board were committed to ensuring that we do business in an extremely compliant way and we’re committed to ensuring that we will follow this investigation all the way through to its outcome and uncover whatever wrongdoing was present, take all of the inputs from the investigation and address loopholes or gaps that we might have found and policies, processes and procedures as a result of this investigation and then continue to evolve as a company in terms of how we do business.
In terms of approaching the DoJ and SEC, give us an idea of how that works exactly. Do you go to them and say, “Look, I think we might have breached…“, do you have to go through a kind of process, if you could just give us an idea?
Well, Philipp can probably comment on that quite a bit because he’s worked very closely with Baker McKenzie in doing this, but it is literally through your legal representation that that process is done. I don’t know if you want that-
It starts with a phone call.
And it goes into personal meetings. It is a very long process, it’s a very intense process and it is not done with just one meeting, so this is really something which is – and since SAP is taking a collaborative approach which is, we believe, the right approach to deal with authorities in these corruption manners, this is an ongoing, continuous discussion. Therefore, it might be that one week you have two meetings and then four weeks later when there is enough new stuff to discuss, then the next one. This is really something which happens regularly in such investigations, that you are in a close contact with the people and of course, perhaps to give you a sense of this, is the US authorities have their own enforcement agency which all of you know, is the FBI and others and it is always better in such situations if the company itself is cooperating as it makes their work, of course, much easier.
I’m sure that you’re aware that the FBI is investigating two Gupta nephews who are US citizens in the State of Texas. Seeing as you’ve approached them with separate case potentially, would you potentially enter into any kind of, I guess you can call that a T-bar. So, for example, basically if you say look you’ve got some information, [inaudible 0:39:38.2], it’s good to [inaudible].
It’s far too early to comment on these things.
How regularly have you been in contact with the DoJ since July 2013?
We had a discussion yesterday, so it’s ongoing.
Can I just ask, when the investigation is done, I think you said you’ll release the results of the investigation, along with that, will you also release a list of the sales commissions, business development commissions paid on public sector clients in South Africa along with the amount paid and then with the company paid?
That is our intent. We have already done that for the ones that were subjected to the two transactions of around Eskom and Transnet and our intent is to be very visible in that, yes.
Can I ask just for a follow-up then, if I could send an email to ask for that exact breakdown of what the client was, who was paying and what was paid?
Yes, when we conclude.
Great, thank you.
Are there any more questions, now’s the time?
The last one, I may as well. EOH, I’m sure you know the company, do they form part of the investigation, is it something that you’re looking at at this stage.
I wouldn’t name a single company in this scenario other than to say to you that there are three scopes and we have a broad set of partners in our public sector ecosystem and we’re looking across the entirety of our executive business.
Correct, thank you very much.
If I can just ask, we saw in some of the Gupta emails, the Gupta leads, that for instance, one of your employees had used their personal Gmail account to send some of the emails. Are they of the employees who are facing disciplinary procedures, are they giving you access to their private email accounts for this investigation or are you limited to what you can find SAP servers?
First of all, I think our employees have been very cooperative in terms of the release of their devices to us and obviously, we followed the forensic trail that was appropriate in terms of the management of that information. I am not sure that we have access to the Gmail accounts of those employees.
We cannot comment on that as yet. So, of course we cannot use means which would – we have only our own means, let’s just say that.
Yes, our own means.
We have to follow data privacy and other considerations leave the obligations therefore. Of course I would love to have all internet traffic of South Africa over the last five years, that would’ve been fantastic, but that is not the case.
Sure, but I mean we’re talking about specific employees who are accused of specific things where there is evidence that they have used their private Gmail account to transact. Surely that’s enough for one to start to saying, “Actually, you need to give us access”. I don’t know what your employee contracts-
Yes, we cannot comment unfortunately.
Any voracity, did you set any score at all by what is contained in the Gupta emails that we have all reported on? Is there any voracity, to your mind, to the emails that we’ve reported on and why not ask for access to those?
I would defer to our legal counsel here to comment on this. It is certainly interesting to read the articles, let’s just say that.
I’ll leave it at that, any more questions? Go for it.
Amid this whole Gupta scandal in South Africa, the companies KPMG, McKenzie etc. related to the saga, there have been a number of companies that for example who have been doing business with KPMG, have dropped them, has the same been happening with SAP? How has this impacted your business in South Africa?
We’ve taken a lot of time with our customers and with our partners there, so part of our process is to meet with customers regularly and address any of their concerns on their topic. I would say that the overwhelming sentiment that I’ve experienced from our customers and others, of my colleagues who have met other customers in South Africa, is one of some degree of sympathy that SAP is caught in this set of circumstances, a little bit of disappointment that our processes and procedures didn’t work as we might have imagined. I would say, overwhelmingly, the sentiment is one of support for the actions that we have taken in response to the allegations that were raised and we have been addressing questions on a customer-by-customer basis in as transparent a way that we possibly can, both with board members from those customers and with senior executives of those customers and clients.
Could you get back to us on the name of the entity for the link for the most recent contents?
Yes, we will.
All right then, if there are no more questions, thank you for coming. If you have any follow-up questions, you can reach out to the local team or to my colleague who I think most of you have been in contact with and otherwise, thank you for coming, thanks for your questions, thank you Adaire and Philipp.
Thank you very much, thank you for time and thank you for your work in the press space.
Cyril Ramaphosa: The Audio Biography
Listen to the story of Cyril Ramaphosa's rise to presidential power, narrated by our very own Alec Hogg.