Mac Maharaj denies corruptions claims
Pretoria - Presidency spokesperson Mac Maharaj has denied ever being
involved in corruption and bribery.
He told the National Press Club in Pretoria on Tuesday that he had never
broken any law.
"I have not been involved in corruption, bribery or broken any
Maharaj was reacting to criticism that he had in effect censored the Mail&Guardian
newspaper by preventing it from publishing allegations against him.
He countered he had evidence that the Mail&Guardian had committed a
"I went and did what the law says. I laid a charge."
Maharaj’s attorneys laid a charge against the Mail&Guardian and two of
its journalists - Sam Sole and Stefans Brummer - on Saturday for violating
section 41(6) of the National Prosecuting Act of 1988.
The charges relate to Friday's edition of the newspaper, the front page of
which featured a picture of Maharaj alongside the words: "Censored. We
cannot bring you this story in full due to a threat of criminal
Big black blocks were printed over about three quarters of the page, where
the story would have been published.
Maharaj said that the decision by the newspaper to black out parts of its
report had created the impression that he had done something wrong.
He said the act made it an offence to disclose evidence gathered in camera
by a section 28 inquiry.
According to the newspaper, Maharaj had lied to the section 28 inquiry
called by the now disbanded Scorpions over allegations that he received
kickbacks from French arms manufacturer Thales International.
It was this information, allegedly proving that Maharaj had lied, that the newspaper
wanted to publish.
Maharaj said on Tuesday that the newspaper should have approached the
Director of Public Prosecutions before approaching him or publishing its story.
He said his refusal to answer questions was a consequence of his belief that
a court of law should decide whether there was any wrongdoing.
He said he was not prepared to subject himself to "trial by
The Sunday Times has since reported that Maharaj and his wife Zarina
received millions of rands in kickbacks related to the arms deal.
Maharaj said the newspaper published 800 words, but only one sentence of his
three-sentence response to its questions.