Maharaj won't deny lying about arms deal

2011-11-21 07:27
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

kalahari.com

Cape Town - Presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj refused to confirm or deny in an e.tv interview on Sunday night that he lied to the Scorpions during a 2001 interview that formed part of a larger investigation into the arms deal.

This after the Mail&Guardian called Maharaj a liar on its front page, based on information the paper unearthed by contravening the “witness-protection” rules contained in the National Prosecution Act.

During the e.tv interview, host Justice Malala asked Maharaj six times whether he lied to the Scorpions. The closest Maharaj came to saying “no” was in his answer to Malala’s first question, when he said, in reference to the Scorpions interview, that “it was a single incident which could not be seen in isolation, but formed part of a larger probe from which no formal charge was made”.

Maharaj then told Malala “he was trying to take one thing and saying it had to be proven, No, Justice.”

M&G editor Nic Dawes said it was a remarkable interview because Maharaj refused to deny he lied. “Anyone who does not have confidence in his own actions to answer such a simple but critically important question should immediately stand down from public office and resign from his post,” said Dawes.

Denies corruption allegations

Earlier on Sunday, Maharaj did tell Beeld he was not involved in any corruption or bribery during his terms as transport minister.

This after the Sunday Times had accused Maharaj and his wife, Zarina, of receiving bribes of some R2.3m from French weapons manufacturer Thales between 1997 and 1999.

Maharaj was transport minister at the time, which was also when his department awarded two large contracts - one of R2.5bn for the N3 toll road between Durban and Johannesburg, and the second of R265m for drivers’ licence cards.

The Sunday Times reported the payments were made to the couple via the Swiss bank account of Minderley Investments, a company that belonged to Schabir Shaik.

The newspaper stated that Thales and its predecessor, Thompson CSF, used the Swiss account to pay money to the couple. Shaik was found guilty of corruption in 2005.

The Sunday Times said it has a document showing that Thompson CSF and Minderley Investments reached an agreement. The paper said this document has not been published before.

Maharaj on Sunday told Beeld he was investigated thoroughly by everyone between 2002 and 2007 - from the Scorpions and the intelligence service to the British office for serious economic crimes.

'Character assassination'

Maharaj said the Scorpions did not find anything against him, despite the people who had him investigated - namely Thabo Mbeki, Penuell Maduna and Bulelani Ngcuka - not being his friends and being very hostile towards him.

Maharaj said the latest Sunday Times report is based on a tiny piece of information that added nothing to the investigation against him.

“I was not even on the tender board back then,” he said, adding that the Scorpions had all the minutes of the tender meetings and Sunday Times could see that if they wanted to.

Maharaj said he has not yet discussed the allegations against him with President Jacob Zuma. “The president has not yet said anything about this to me.”

Maharaj said his legal team will decide whether to take any further steps against the Sunday Times, as the report is “character assassination”.

DA MP Stuart Farrow said he will ask the public protector to investigate the allegations and has asked for Maharaj to be suspended.
 
Read more on:    mail and guardian  |  thales  |  zarina maharaj  |  mac maharaj  |  corruption  |  arms deal
NEXT ON NEWS24X
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
76 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 30% off top fragrances

Get mind blowing savings on selected fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to 50% on Women’s month treats!

Celebrate the awesome women in your life with awesome treats like beauty products, fashion accessories, bestselling books, electronics and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. 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

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Today is a good day to combine imagination, information and creativity together. Try not to over rationalise things and rather...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.