South Africa’s companies registry office on Wednesday said it is pursuing criminal complaints against SAP, KPMG and McKinsey on suspicion that business they conducted with friends of President Jacob Zuma broke the companies act .
The Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) submitted the complaints to South African police in November and December last year and the matter is ongoing, the CIPC said in an emailed response to questions.
German software maker SAP, auditor KPMG and management consultants McKinsey have all been accused of unduly influencing government contracts in collusion with companies controlled by the Gupta family, who have been accused of using political connections to win work with the state.
These assets are seized on the basis that they are suspected of being the proceeds of crime or corruption.
“These assets are seized on the basis that they are suspected of being the proceeds of crime or corruption,” said Corruption Watch Executive Director, David lewis.
However, the Guptas deny wrongdoing and say they are victims of a politically motivated witch hunt.
The CIPC’s move marks the first time that any regulator or government authority has laid a criminal charge against the three firms in connection with a scandal involving the Gupta family.
SAP said it had been co-operating with South African authorities investigating the deals for several months, including the police priority crime unit.
McKinsey said it had not been formally provided with any affidavit or order from any authority.
“We will see people and institutions being charged with a crime. If the charge is upheld, then the assets will be retained presumably. If not they will be returned,” Lewis added.
KPMG cleared out its South African leadership in September last year after an internal investigation found work done for Gupta family firms “fell considerably short of KPMG’s standards”. KPMG denied it had done anything illegal.
Zuma, who has faced and denied numerous corruption allegations since taking office in 2009, said last week he would set up a commission of inquiry into allegations of influence-peddling in the government.
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who was elected leader of the ruling African National Congress last month, has vowed to fight rampant corruption and revitalise the economy.