The findings of an investigation into whether software giant SAP paid kickbacks to Gupta-owned companies will be published at the end of October.

The German company chaired by Hasso Plattner‚ who owns Fancourt golf estate in George‚ Western Cape‚ expressed his regret on Friday about what had allegedly happened.

“I profoundly apologise to the people of South Africa that this news has created any questions about the ethical business conduct of SAP‚” he said.

In a statement‚ SAP said international law firm Baker McKenzie was investigating allegations about kickbacks paid to secure business at Transnet and other government entities.

In July‚ SAP ordered four senior South African executives to go on “administrative leave” after a report based on leaked e-mails exposed the alleged kickback. 

Friday’s statement by SAP board member Adaire Fox Martin said: “While we understand the public’s legitimate frustration at the length of the investigation‚ it is imperative that we get this process right.

“The team from Baker McKenzie has been reviewing and scrutinising large volumes of data‚ talking to a variety of stakeholders and conducting interviews with all relevant persons.

“We remain committed to delivering on our initial promise to manage this process in a transparent way and to give a full account to our employees‚ customers‚ partners and the South African public.”

In a letter to the BizNews website‚ Plattner said: “The news about questionable sales commissions by SAP in South Africa was brought to my attention by my daughter Kristina. As you can imagine I was shocked and asked for an immediate investigation and suspension of the SAP people involved.

“I can guarantee you that we will turn over every leaf in order to find out what happened or didn’t happen. The business ethics of SAP are clearly stated and there is no room for deviation.

“As soon as the facts are on the table‚ the SAP supervisory board will meet and discuss the consequences.”