Jacob Zuma silent on Mac Maharaj

2011-11-21 18:36
Video

Mac Maharaj interviewed on eNews

2011-11-21 08:03

Presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj refused to confirm or deny in an eNews interview that he lied to the Scorpions in 2001. Watch the interview here. WATCH

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma says it will be out of order for him to comment on a controversy involving his spokesperson Mac Maharaj, SAfm radio reported on Monday.

"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'."

He had established an inquiry into the arms deal and queries had to go there.

"Why should I then take the job of the commission even if Mac was doing nothing about it. I've got a commission to deal with the matter."

Kickbacks

Earlier, the SA National Editors' Forum (Sanef) came out in support of an attempt by the Mail & Guardian to obtain permission to publish information which purportedly proves allegations that Maharaj and his wife received kickbacks while he was transport minister.

"Sanef is concerned that the testimony by Maharaj, who as the spokesman 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 on Monday.

"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."

Sanef said it was concerned that the newspaper and 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.

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.

It also asked the police to investigate whether records of National Prosecuting Authority inquiries had been stolen.

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.

Disclosure

The act makes it an offence to disclose evidence gathered in camera by a section 28 inquiry - providing for a maximum penalty of 15 years’ in jail, reported the Mail & Guardian online.

Mail & Guardian editor Nic 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 is set to address the National Press Club in Pretoria on Tuesday.

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.

Further comment was not immediately available from the NPA and the Mail & Guardian.

Read more on:    mail and guardian  |  npa  |  sanef  |  jacob zuma  |  mac maharaj  |  corruption  |  arms deal  |  media

SHARE:

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
46 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
4 real car inventions that seem like science fiction

Vehicle design and tech have come so far so fast, that what seemed impossible has become reality. These are some of the fun and exciting innovations that have found their way into vehicle tech.

/News
 

Top 10 richest musicians of all time

Check out the gallery to find out who they are!

 
 

Luxury living

Seven of the most expensive children's toys ever made
5 millionaires turned murderers
The youngest billionaires in the world and how they made it
Watch: Flying first class has never been this luxurious!
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Innovation, idealism, romanticism and other far reaching dreams can lead you into a spiral of enthusiasm and excitement. Somewhere...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.