By Staff Writer

A German company, Software AG, is embroiled in the latest Gupta leaks for allegedly offering kickbacks to Gupta-controlled firms to secure for their help government tenders.

Software AG entered into an apparent kickback agreement with a Gupta-controlled company in an attempt to secure a R180-million contract from Transnet Freight Rail, according to the latest reports from amaBhungane and Scorpio, emails and documents.

Software AG agreed to pay Global Softech Solutions (GSS) up to 35% of the value of the contracts it secured with Transnet, the department of correctional services, Mangaung municipality, Sasol and MultiChoice, according to the report.

The investigation reveals that in 2014, Software AG was trying to replicate a fantastically lucrative deal it signed with Ekurhuleni – this time with Mangaung municipality in the Free State.

Ironically, it was Lawrence Kandaswami, the now-suspended managing director of SAP South Africa, who first introduced Software AG to GSS in October that year.

Although SAP and Software AG are competitors, Kandaswami appears to have been willing to act as go-between, passing information about the Software AG deal to GSS and the Guptas’ Sahara Systems, which was in the process of buying a 50% stake in GSS.

According to amaBhungane and Scorpio, it is not clear how much flowed from Software AG to GSS as several of the opportunities identified did not materialise. But there is very little evidence that GSS earned its fees by identifying leads or doing the sales legwork.

As with SAP, the Software AG commission agreement comes across as stage-managed to disguise payments to politically-connected people and their companies, in essence, an apparent kickback for helping Software AG to secure business.


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