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Thursday, 11 January 2024 12:13

SAP to pay more than $220m over bribery charges.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

German-multinational software giant SAP has agreed to pay a criminal fine of over $220 million (R4.1 billion) to the US, following investigations into corruption committed in seven countries including South Africa.

According to a statement released by the US Justice Department, SAP will pay the fines to both the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the US Justice Department following its violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) arising out of corruption and bribery charges in SA, Malawi, Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Indonesia, and Azerbaijan.

"SAP has accepted responsibility for corrupt practices that hurt honest businesses engaging in global commerce," Jessica Aber, the US attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, said.

"We will continue to vigorously prosecute bribery cases to protect domestic companies that follow the law while participating in the international marketplace."

According to court filings, SAP and co-conspirators made bribe payments to officials in South Africa between 2013 and 2017 to secure contracts with the city of Johannesburg, the city of Tshwane, the national water and sanitation department and Eskom Holdings Ltd, an energy company.

Between 2015 and 2018, SAP arranged for bribes to be paid to Indonesian officials to obtain government contracts including with the fisheries ministry and the state-owned telecom company, the documents said.

The SEC said that in addition to Indonesia and South Africa, SAP had also been involved in bribery schemes in Malawi, Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana and Azerbaijan.

In a statement, SAP said it "welcomes the conclusion of these matters and will fully comply with the terms of the agreements."

"SAP separated from all responsible parties more than five years ago and has since significantly enhanced its global compliance program and related internal controls," the Walldorf-based company said.

"SAP has zero tolerance for those who do not adhere to the company’s compliance policies and procedures. SAP remains vigilant in maintaining the highest standards of ethics and compliance," it states.