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By Gareth van Zyl
JOHANNESBURG — German-headquartered global technology company, SAP, has missed its own deadline to release results of a probe into a corruption scandal involving the Guptas, who are now fugitives on the run.
In December, SAP spokespeople told BizNews that the company would release results of its probe by the end of January 2018.
The company, at the time, also told BizNews that three of its South African managers implicated in the saga remained on suspension pending a disciplinary hearing expected to take place in January. A fourth manager, who was previously suspended, returned to work after not being found to be implicated in the Gupta deals.
But as the end of January 2018 came and went, SAP failed to meet its own deadline and was silent on the results of its Gupta probe.
A spokesperson for SAP has now told BizNews this week that the company hopes to release results of the probe by the beginning of March and that the delay is owing to certain complexities.
Allegations of dodgy kickbacks
The probe, which is being conducted by global law-firm Baker McKenzie, came about amid revelations from the Gupta email leaks.
SAP came under fire in July last year for paying millions of rands to Gupta-linked 3D printing software business, CAD House, in order to win lucrative deals with state-owned firms like Transnet.
An amaBhungane report in July also revealed how CAD House was merely a front used by the Guptas as part of the family’s alleged money laundering scheme.
At a press conference on October 26 2017, SAP revealed that shortly after the amaBhungane story broke, the company moved to approach the US Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) in a voluntary disclosure regarding the Gupta deals.
To date, there has been no update on this US probe.
But in the meantime, South African law enforcement agency, the Hawks, raided the Guptas’ Saxonwold Compound and several other properties linked to the family on Wednesday this week.
The Hawks’ raid only concerns corruption and money laundering charges involving the Estina Dairy Farm project in the Free State and not the Guptas’ involvement with companies like SAP and McKinsey.
Adding to the drama around the Guptas, the Hawks have named Ajay Gupta as a fugitive from justice. His whereabouts are currently unclear and he is on the run.
Meanwhile, it’s been reported that Atul Gupta earlier this week also tried to flee South Africa on a jet from Lanseria Airport, just outside Johannesburg, but that the pilot refused to take off.
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