Germany’s Software AG starts probe into state capture reports

 Software AG said on Tuesday it is mounting an internal probe after a media report alleged it had paid kickbacks as part of a wide-ranging South Africa government bribery scheme that has also ensnared fellow German software maker SAP.

“Software AG is not aware of any non-compliant business practices in its South Africa operations,” a company spokesman told Reuters, but added: “Based on current media speculations, the company has started an internal review.”

The spokesman said Software AG cannot make further comment until its review has been completed.

The report, published jointly on Tuesday by the Amabhungane and the Daily Maverick’s Scorpio investigative reporting teams, alleges Software AG entered into an apparent kickback deal with a politically connected South Africa family to win contracts.

It said Software AG agreed to pay an intermediary company linked to the Gupta family, who are close allies of President Jacob Zuma, in order to win deals with state-controlled companies or agencies or private firms

Earlier this month, SAP named a new executive team in South Africa after it put four senior managers on leave, pending its investigations into allegations that it was involved in making kickbacks to win government contracts.

(1 euro = 15.1280 rand)

Reporting By Eric Auchard; Editing by Maria Sheahan

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