M&G to hand letter to Simelane

2011-11-21 22:28

Johannesburg - The Mail & Guardian newspaper will hand in a letter to National Director of Public Prosecutions Menzi Simelane on Tuesday regarding the use of information allegedly implicating presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj in illegal kickbacks.

Mail & Guardian editor Nic Dawes said the letter had to be redrafted to account for new information.

"He [Simelane] will get the letter tomorrow [Tuesday]. It had to be rewritten to reflect what happened on the weekend, like the Sunday Times story," he said.

Mail & Guardian reporters Sam Sole and Stefaans Brummer could be arrested after Maharaj laid charges against them at the Parkview police station on Saturday for being in possession of a document which could prove the allegations.

The charges relate to Friday's edition of the newspaper which had a front and second page with black blocks covering information it could not publish. The information allegedly proves that Maharaj and his wife Zarina received kickbacks during his tenure as transport minister.

Dawes said the charges would "not wash in any court", as Maharaj's instigation of legal action leaned heavily on the newspaper's possession - rather than disclosure - of the information.

"The act pertains to the disclosure of information, [the way the story was published] we did not disclose it," he said.

Maharaj wants the police to establish whether the publication and the reporters broke the provisions of section 41(6) of the National Prosecuting Act of 1998. He also asked the police to investigate whether records of national prosecuting authority (NPA) inquiries had been stolen.

Sanef

On Monday the SA National Editors' Forum (Sanef) came out in support of an attempt by the Mail & Guardian newspaper to obtain permission to publish the information.

"Sanef is concerned that the testimony by Maharaj, who as the spokesperson for President Jacob Zuma is at the heart of government, should be kept secret and joins the Mail & Guardian in requesting [national prosecuting authority head] Menzi Simelane to release the record immediately," Sanef said in a statement.

"Information about Maharaj's testimony and conduct, given his high profile role in government and his former role as minister of transport, is of major public interest."

The Sunday Times had reported that Maharaj and Zarina received millions of rands from French arms company Thales.

According to the report secret payments totalling 1.2 million French francs (R3.2m) were paid into Zarina's offshore bank accounts shortly before Thales was awarded a R265m tender by the department of transport, which Mac Maharaj headed at the time.

The payments were made via Swiss bank accounts belonging to Schabir Shaik's company Minderley Investments, which the newspaper said was used as a conduit by Thales and its predecessor Thompson CSF.

On Monday Maharaj said he was willing to face legal processes in response to the allegations.

"I will subject myself to the process of the law because it would be a process where I have rights. It would be putting all the information on the table," he told SABC television news.

Earlier on Monday, SAfm radio reported that President Jacob Zuma said it would be out of order for him to comment on a controversy involving his spokesperson Maharaj.

"Mr Maharaj is handling that matter at a legal level, so I don't think I'm qualified to come in and comment on it," Zuma told a business breakfast hosted by The New Age newspaper.

"I think it would be clearly out of order while the matter is handled at that level and then I come in and say 'this is what I want to do'."

Maharaj is set to address the National Press Club in Pretoria on Tuesday.

When asked for a response to the Democratic Alliance's call that he be suspended, he said: "It's a free country."

DA transport spokesperson Stuart Farrow said he had lodged a request with the Public Protector for her office to investigate the matter.

- SAPA

Read more on:    thales  |  sanef  |  schabir shaik  |  jacob zuma  |  menzi simelane  |  mac maharaj  |  stuart farrow  |  arms deal  |  media
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
8 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Parties serve urgent application over Tlakula

Opposition parties have filed an urgent application in the Electoral Court over their demand that IEC chair Pansy Tlakula must resign, UDM leader Bantu Holomisa says.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Kalk Bay - 18:47 PM
    Road name: Main Road Southbound
    HEAVY DELAYS between Muizenberg and Kalk Bay
  • Thursday Grabouw - 18:36 PM
    Road name: N2 Eastbound
    HEAVY DELAYS through Grabouw (weekend holiday volumes)
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 9360

The BlackBerry Curve 9360 smartphone comes preloaded with Blackberry OS7...

From R1595.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be required to travel or get information for your job. This may be restricting in some way or something may slow things...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.