Maharaj to decide on charging newspaper

2011-12-12 00:00

CAPE TOWN — A decision will be taken today how to proceed with criminal charges against City Press, which allegedly published information protected under section 41(6) of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Act.

The section criminalises the “disclosure” to “any other person” of the “record of any evidence” given to the Scorpions during a Section 28 inquiry without the permission of the National Director of Public Prosecutions.

Rudi Krause, legal representative for Mac Maharaj, will rely on this clause after City Press reported yesterday that Maharaj would allegedly have offered “sensitive information” about ANC activities during the apartheid era to protect himself and his wife from prosecution by the state.

This information, which was published in 2007, tells how Maharaj, now a spokesperson for President Jacob Zuma, allegedly lied to the Scorpions over payments made to convicted fraudster Schabir Shaik.

The information came from transcripts of the Scorpion’s interview with Maharaj during its investigations into the arms deal scandal.

No legal steps were taken against the weekly after it published the news then.

The editor of the City Press, Ferial Haffajee, said her paper trusts it is still operating on the right side of the law.

“We will have to wait and see what happens with the charge,” she said.

The ANC remained quiet yesterday on what sensitive information Maharaj could have leaked. Spokesperson Keith Khoza said there is no talk of an investigation and that Maharaj will have to put the matter into perspective.

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