Sanef demands NPA release Maharaj record

2011-11-21 15:32

Johannesburg - The SA National Editors' Forum (Sanef) supports the Mail & Guardian's bid to get permission to publish information which purportedly proves allegations that presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj and his wife received kickbacks while he was transport minister.

"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 and Guardian in requesting Menzi Simelane to release the record immediately," a statement received from Sanef on Monday said.

"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 was also concerned that the newspaper's reporters Sam Sole and Stefaans Brummer could be arrested after Maharaj laid charges at the Parkview police station against them on Saturday for being in possession of a document which could prove the allegations.

Maharaj wants the police to establish whether the publication and reporters broke the provisions of section 41(6) of the National Prosecuting Act of 1998.

They also requested 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 they could not publish.

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 DA'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 that her office investigate the matter further.

Further comment was not immediately available from the NPA and the M&G.

  • Eduard - 2011-11-21 15:49

    MAc,Mac,mac,Mac,Mac........he sounds just like the Ducks on the washing powder add MAQ. When he opens his mouth you somer know his talking BS!

      Eduard - 2011-11-21 16:04

      I hope they lock you and your scum buddies up for ever ..... taking food out of the mouths of the poor... 4 kids die of hunger while out searching for food and you align your pockets with money... shame on you... baas ted! Well done Justice on a very good interview exposing Mac for the criminal he is. Who's next? we need to expose them all before the info protection bill is passed...

      Chris - 2011-11-21 16:17

      Sounds more like Toilet Duck to me.

  • Shirley - 2011-11-21 15:49

    FREE is the operative word! How can we say we have a legal system,when it allows perinant information regarding the welfare of the entire country to be surpressed?? If the government is "above board" and as squeaky clen as they profess then they should insist all culprits be named and shamed! There secrecy bill and lame denials tell us all we need to know. The test of the world is watching and if S.A. think this is not going to affect us finacially then they are sadly mistaken and even dumber then what they already look. EXPOSE these leeches!

  • Dougal - 2011-11-21 15:51

    What a bunch of corrupt losers we have to put up with. Will the list never stop ? It would be interesting in fact to note which public servants in local and national government have not had criminal proceedings instituted against them.

      Stephen - 2011-11-21 16:05

      that will be a very small list

      Gerhard - 2011-11-21 16:09

      How much more can Mac et al steal from the people?

      Kala - 2011-11-21 17:18

      I'm sure they did publish it. it covered two lines in the classified column.

  • Poloyatonki - 2011-11-21 15:59

    This is just another plot by media to destroy Maharaj.

      Johann - 2011-11-21 16:02

      Huh? Poly.

      Deeteem - 2011-11-21 16:05

      Poly,you must be just as doff as mac !!

      Servaas - 2011-11-21 16:21

      Poly: MAC donalds are looking for their 2 clowns.. Why don't you and mac run along now?

      MastersVoice - 2011-11-21 16:43

      Poloyatonki - if it turns out to be true, surely it means Maharaj effectively destroyed himself? He is an intelligent, experienced person. He should be able to handle the media by now, but it seems he has somehow managed to get himself tied up in a knot about this. Now he'll have the media all over him like a rash until the truth comes out (or the media are gagged). It would seem he has something to hide, and I believe it should be exposed.

      DuToitCoetzee - 2011-11-21 17:38

      @Poly. Can a you/a person be so bias to protect everything when it shows a default towards the government and black. I am not based my comment on today's comment from you, but on your track record so far. If the man is guilty all must be revealed. We want a clean fresh start regarding people who led and now leading us. That does include the apartheid times as well as the Mandela time. We have plenty to change/reform, but we must make sure(or to the best that is possible) that the people surrounding our efforts are clean. When he was still in transport we, as transporters, had our doubt so let all be known now. Poly, the majority of black and white just wants a brighter future and if that means we have to take out some of the old "golden boys" we will do it.

      Sheik - 2011-11-21 18:04

      A fish can only drown through it's own mouth, and Mac's going to drown himself.

      comurray - 2011-11-22 14:17

      No, he is busy destroying himself without any outside help. He has a major problem, being unable to remember who he told which lie to. Shame. My heart pumps custard for him and his cadres.

  • MastersVoice - 2011-11-21 16:01

    Maharaj's responses to the allegations are not those of an innocent man. This whole deal stinks to high heaven, and I believe our beloved President also has a few skeletons that are dying to get out of the cupboard!

      Franklyn - 2011-11-21 23:43

      is the first dinosaur skeleton rattling loose ? Maharaj is a big player,if he is implicated and convicted the floodgates would open.

  • Cheryl - 2011-11-21 16:07

    Exactly why were the Scorpions disbanded again.....ahhhhhhh yes, Mac you and your ANC mates were stealing again . (If the rules dont suite u , you just change the rules..).what power you have ....but just you wait..the people of south africa wont always be fooled......

  • mundu.olewega - 2011-11-21 16:17

    Silence the media so you ANC dirt bags can continue to plunder public money. BIG FAIL MAHARAJ !!!

  • anne.somerville - 2011-11-21 16:28

    "it'a free country"-certainly seems to be for the ones at the top , the rest of us have to pay for everything !!!

      Sheik - 2011-11-21 18:07

      But not free to take.

  • Gerhard - 2011-11-21 16:30

    Is a big fat salary not enough???

  • Chris - 2011-11-21 16:41

    these ANC cadres are so busy protecting their own arses, do they ever get a chance to actually govern?

  • sorryson3 - 2011-11-21 16:47

    "The Untouchables" remember the movie ? Let's find SA's Elliot Ness ( he brought down Al Capone )who can have an uncompromised field day bringing down SA's political parasites. Must understand African politics so that the very people who are bleeding as a result of misinformed decisions in the voting process can see their UNTOUCHABLES CRUMBLE and die !!!!

  • Vic - 2011-11-21 17:33

    A blatant liar as the presidential spokesperson !! How are we supposed to believe anything he says. Zuma must suspend him without pay while he is being investigated. But Zuma is too weak to do anything constructive.

      Sheik - 2011-11-21 18:11

      Zuma's not too weak, he just has too many skeleton's in the cupboard that all of his friends have seen, and can't act against them in fear of someone opening a can of worms.

      Ronald - 2011-11-21 18:37

      Zuma cannot afford to suspend Mac, as is the case with many of his closest cadres that frustrate us so much with their corruption. We must remember that Zuma enjoys immunity to prosecution while he is still president, but that will change when he has to step down. He has to bolster his position in politics as well as financially (remember the frequent financial woes of the past). This includes those buddies that were involved in the past as well as the present and could dish up dirt on Zuma. That is why an internal parliamentary memo circulated last or early this year estimates the amount missing from government coffers to be in excess of, wait for it..... 600-800 BILLION RAND. The negotiations of SARS to share information internationally in order to nail people that have hidden money overseas must have some people wetting their undies. The ANC Cosa Nostra puts the Mafia to shame.

  • Cheryl - 2011-11-21 17:37

    It says his wife also got kickbacks...i hope she will also be joining Macca in the chookie? or will they pretend they sick just like they serve a good curry in the slammer?

  • Natalie - 2011-11-21 18:15

    Why should Maharaj lead such a charmed life because of cronyism. The transport system in South African has gone down the tubes, so what was he doing as Minister of Transport? You've answered my question, counting his kickbacks. This corrupt official must not be let off the hook, but get what he deserves. We rate and taxpayers are sick of the likes of him. Bernie.

  • Vuyo - 2011-11-21 19:01

    The general South African citizen doesn't understand that EVERYONE in GOVERNMENT even under Mbeki received these kinds of "kick backs". And these people don't necessarily regard it as coruption. They see it as part of a business deal. What these present and past government officials seem to ignore is the fact that when you deal on behalf of government any kick back should go back to the government coffers as well. When you keep some for yourself it is unethical and amounts to stealing from government and the public. Because as a government official you are acting on behalf of the public who voted you into the position you fill. Zuma recently announced how the arms deal investigation will be re-opened and before we could say, wow really?, he announced the secrecy bill which he is now trying to force down parliament's throat before that investigation can get under way.

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