Hawks confirm probe into M&G

2011-11-25 13:58

Johannesburg - The Hawks said on Friday they have opened an investigation into how a weekly newspaper obtained a copy of a sealed interview with President Jacob Zuma's spokesperson over a weapons deal.

Hawks spokesperson McIntosh Polela told AFP that an officer had been assigned to investigate the complaint by Mac Maharaj, a former minister in Nelson Mandela's government who is now the presidential spokesperson.

"Once done, the case will be handed over to the NPA (National Prosecuting Authority) for a decision" on whether to bring the charges to court, Polela said.

Maharaj has accused the weekly Mail & Guardian and two of its journalists of illegally obtaining a transcript of his interview several years ago with investigators looking into bribery claims in the arms deal.


His interview is protected as confidential by law.

Maharaj laid charges last weekend after blocking the full publication of an article that the Mail & Guardian said would have shown that he had lied during the questioning.

The matter comes amid fears for press freedom after the protection of state information bill was passed by the ANC through the National Assembly on Tuesday, which has been attacked as a threat to free speech.

Maharaj was also named by the latest edition of the Sunday Times as having received bribes from French weapons maker Thales. He has denied the claims.

An inquiry into the long-running arms deal saga has recently been reopened.

  • Hannes - 2011-11-25 14:10

    Exactly why crooks want the info bill. Expect it to get much worse if the bill becomes law.

      boerekanon - 2011-11-25 14:37

      Who cares where and how they got the info. The point is it shows how corrupt certain individuals in powerful positions are. Now that they have passed the info bill they want to look at the Constitutional Court so they can muzzle it as well so that it cannot overturn their decisions.

      goyougoodthing - 2011-12-03 07:53

      Arrest him not the M&G. THe corruption in the government goes all the way to the top, we all know this. The spit in the face of the taxpayers and make it a farce. This platform is trolled by ANC members who call us all racist. We say we pay the tax and they say it's because of the legacy of apartheid. Execute the whole cabinet. Criminals the lot of them.

  • Pierre - 2011-11-25 14:11

    His interview is protected as confidential by law. **** Confused**** As the law state the truth must be told, Or does that only apply to common criminals. If you dont want dirty laundry lying around, dont do crime. How dumb can he be......or did he believe the interviewer telling Him Please Speak the truth, I will not tell, see my fingers aren't crossed. Police interviewers can tell you anything, they can lie and deceive to get to the truth. Go grow a beard and face the facts you are as guilty as hell, and we all know that. The passed bill have no relevance on the case as it was signed by parliament but is not legally bounding until signed by the provinces and the president, thus good luck with that one.

  • Pierre - 2011-11-25 14:14

    All people who want something told here is the way forward under the "Information Bill". 1) Obtain the information 2) Go to internetshop. 3) Upload info to : 4) Smile and sit back.

      Derrick - 2012-02-02 17:03

      @ Pierre; i don't know much about computers : will the internet vendor not be harassed by the authorities?

      Derrick - 2012-02-02 18:36

      @ Pierre : Wasn't there at one stage someone who wanted to shut down Facebook?

  • Gareth - 2011-11-25 14:24

    Is this not a great day for all of us. Is it not fantastic that our money is being spent trying to cover up Mac Maharaj? If you have nothing to hide Mac then let the story print in full, but alas it would only confirm he, his wife and no doubt others are exactly what we think they are and that is criminals of the worst kind. Criminals who steal from the very people they "vowed" to protect and "free". Well done Mac, well done ANC, you are a shining example of corrupt leadership. I wish you all the best in turning off the internet by the way, you may find it more cumbersome to achieve than you first anticipated. People are getting edgy Mac, people are warming up to their rights, beware of an angry crowd of people that comprises almost everyone that pays taxes and ergo, your salary and what would appear to be your corrupt lifestyle.

  • djmain1 - 2011-11-25 14:32

    Forward to fascism! Sieg heil cANCer, sieg heil!

  • johanvvuuren - 2011-11-25 14:35

    Therefore, instead of publishing the story that he lied during the questioning, news24 publishes that if the article was published it would have shown that he had lied during the questioning. And at the end achieved the same thing - we now know that he lied during questioning. So does he now have to get another order to block this article as well? - then another article will say that he blocked this article...

  • Shirley - 2011-11-25 14:38

    Only in S.Africa- Newspapers trying to expose corrption taken to court.Mac Maharaj presidential spokesperson accused of said corruption given a pat on the back and has a bill passed in his favour so that the said corruption may never be known! Seems old Bob gave Malaema some good tips when Malema was there of just how to F##K up a country. Although I here Disney wants the right to this fir an episode of LOONEY TUNES!

      Shirley - 2011-11-25 14:41

      Sorry about typos-its nerve racking talking about state secrets...

  • SNG62 - 2011-11-25 14:43

    Time to mobilize & vote the ANC out!

  • Eric - 2011-11-25 15:00

    Comrade Mac loved a free press before he got into power and his snout into the trough. Now he's beginning to understand what a free press actually is - must be quite a shock! At least he doesn't have to work for a living!

  • Jerhone - 2011-11-25 15:47

    have these dawks got nothing better to do? i thought they were going to investigate fatboy on his return from some wedding everythings very quiet now

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