JOHANNESBURG, March 16 (Reuters) – Germany-based software company SAP SAPG.DE will reimburse at least 263 million rand ($17.5 million) to South Africa‘s water and sanitation department for license and support agreements declared invalid, by court order.
Investigators have been probing SAP’s work for the department for several years, alleging procurement rules were broken and contracts were entered into illegally.
The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) and the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) said in a statement that the SIU had confronted SAP and the DWS with evidence of wrongdoing regarding settlement agreements. license and support between 2015 and 2016.
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An order from the Special Court – a tribunal set up by President Cyril Ramaphosa’s government to speed up the recovery of misused or stolen public money – issued on Tuesday said SAP must pay DWS around R263 million within five days of hearing.
Another sum of around R83 million that SAP paid to third-party software vendors is still in dispute, with the parties being asked to file affidavits indicating whether this amount should also be repaid.
SAP said in a statement that it has reached an agreement with the SIU and the DWS. He said the department remains an SAP customer and is committed to maintaining a strong compliance program.
SAP, which has a market value of more than $130 billion, in 2018 admitted wrongdoing in deals with South African state-owned companies during former President Jacob Zuma’s tenure.
($1 = R15.0032)
(Reporting by Alexander Winning in Johannesburg and Nadine Schimroszik in Berlin; Editing by Jan Harvey)