Jacob Zuma silent on Mac Maharaj

2011-11-21 18:36

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."


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.


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.

  • CALAMITYSA - 2011-11-21 18:47

    He surely was aware of the "information" for a long time. One of the reasons why his "terminal ill" friend is playing golf! Corruption is a culture!

      Sedick - 2011-11-21 20:17

      Yep, it is part of the ANC culture. AND, Zuma does not even want to apply his mind in this we do not have to hold our breath.....I am surprised that he did not say "speak to my spokesperson, he will comment!".....

      Moss - 2011-11-21 21:19

      He thought he was smart by opening commission of enquiry in the arms deal! Now before it can even start theres some huge questions to answer!!

      Godfrey - 2011-11-21 21:41

      That is why the Info Bill is being rushed, to stop this type of reporting.

  • Jack - 2011-11-21 18:53

    Is it not ironic? Zuma silent on his spokesperson.

      Heinrich - 2011-11-21 20:00

      Oh, I see. The spokesperson speaks on behalf of the official and the official speaks on behalf of the spokesperson. So no-one can be quoted directly. If they both keep quiet, nobody will ever know anything. It is when they start talking simultaneously that it becomes interesting.

      Sedick - 2011-11-21 20:18

      @ Heinrich. They will both just lie in any case....

  • Gaolatlhe Moabi James Kanakang - 2011-11-21 18:53

    everybody knows politicians do it 4 themself at top, let them cover it up...but media do it 4 us.

      Anton - 2011-11-21 19:24

      It's very sad, and Prof. Jansen had it 100%. They are BLATANTLY indifferent about the future of South Africa and its people. They have NO compasion at all. It's actually unbelievable with what arrogance they're getting away with their corrupt dealings. Wish Mandela was 15 years younger and in charge. He'd have none of this.

  • Gareth - 2011-11-21 18:54

    Because they corruption buddies aren't they.

  • Anton - 2011-11-21 18:59

    *Applying his mind* lol.

  • Shoe - 2011-11-21 19:01

    And what could the poor man possibly say? For sure his already poor public image would be eroded if he said "Mac, Buddy,way to go. Steal'em dry, and lie'em under the table". And we surely would not like hearing that. It would really hurt our feelings. So, I guess Zuma still cares about the nation and is acting in our best interests, by keeping mum. We are really screwed here people. Its no joke:).

      Heinrich - 2011-11-21 19:46

      A very refreshing perspective, Shoe. But perhaps Zuma felt that any further lying and deceit can't qualify him for any higher position than he already has, so he keeps quiet.

      Judith - 2011-11-27 17:25

      Screwed we are, we are being ruled by a bunch rotten to the core....

  • Orapeleng Molosiwa - 2011-11-21 19:05

    Isnt he keeping quiet on every matter or running away everytime there s an issue he s supposed to address?

  • colin.dovey - 2011-11-21 19:14

    Zuma's coterie of "friends" ....... 1. Schabir Shaik studied electrical engineering at the M.L. Sultan Technikon, but was caught cheating in a High Voltage Engineering T5 exam on 28 May 1990 and was barred for 12 months. He claimed to have obtained a master's degree, but no record of this was found at the Technikon; he later admitted he did not earn the qualification. 2. Mac Maharaj was a political activist and member of the South African Communist Party. 3. Paul Ngobeni, faced 12 years in a US jail for fraud, larceny and practising law illegally. Just like the character known as Judge Hlophe, Ngobeni seems to have vested interests in making a new name for himself and perhaps securing future rewards by betting for the apparently “winning horse” called Zuma. 4. Fikile Mbalula - MINISTER Fikile "Razzmatazz" Mbalula takes the recreation part of his brief very, very seriously. How else does one explain the minister for sport and recreation's extracurricular activity? Yes, yes. All the sporting metaphors apply: Fikile was caught offside while playing an away game in which he managed to score an own-goal, made a dangerous tackle and was yellow-carded. One wonders if indeed the future of South Africa is in safe hands. As the desperate battle to cleanse the moral character of Jacob Zuma takes incredible leaps, may we be reminded that a country is as strong as its weakest link, more so if that link in the chain happens to be its president!

      Vuyo - 2011-11-21 19:24

      Both funny and scary as hell Xavier!!

      colin.dovey - 2011-11-21 19:43

      Yes @Vuyo you are correct....and these are the guys who are there to "create" jobs for our fellow South Africans! My heart weeps for what potential we have, and these dolts are so busy looking after themselves that they are failing us EVERY day. It makes me feel ashamed when people ask me about these people when I travel....

  • braamc - 2011-11-21 19:22

    Off course you will shut your face as you are also blind and deaf about all the theft and corruption, conveniently you won't have your day in court. Filthy thieving bunch of criminals

  • Sheik - 2011-11-21 19:40

    Zuma does nothing, well.

  • glen.e.huysamer - 2011-11-21 19:47

    Now it is clear why Mac 'Maharash' is such an avid supporter of the secrecy bill. South Africa rise up before we are at war against each other due to corrupt political hoodlums.

  • Stinkhout - 2011-11-21 19:49

    And so the deal was sealed and we bought expensive Saab cars with wings but don’t have pilots, we bought Merc submarines that don’t sink, we bought some other stuff as well and……we paid tooo much but they refunded a lot of it back to us for safe keeping.

      Barend - 2011-11-21 20:14

      That's a funny way of putting it. lol!! You deserve a Bell's

  • Chabi - 2011-11-21 19:54

    The title of this bulletin is misleading, The President was not silent... another misinformation racket by counter revolutionary media agents... South Africans have got what they have been asking for... The Arms Deal Enquiry, Thank You Mr. President, no need for you to act in its place...

      Ryan - 2011-11-22 00:13

      go back to your cave

      justin.simpson.54584 - 2013-02-02 09:37

      No need to act, therefore he remained silent, Dweeb!! If you don't understand the meaning of the phrase then don't bloody comment on it

  • Max - 2011-11-21 20:23

    So what do you want him to say? He is corrupt to the core, every citizen know at least that much of him and therefore expect nothing less of him. Give him at least credit for being the best criminal in the country....look at what position he holds.

  • mastersvoice - 2011-11-21 20:41

    He is probably silent because his spokesperson would normally have said something on his behalf! Or maybe he is just being himself - non-committal and indecisive.

  • Peter - 2011-11-21 20:50

    As usual Zuma takes the easy way out no comment, can this clown actually make a decision or even take sense, unless mac maharaj writes it for him ,,,, pathetic is this the best we have to offer the world please just go

  • Eben - 2011-11-21 21:05

    Mac 'Maharash', why did NEDBANK kicked you off their board of directors?????? Was that because you were so honest and did not want them to infringe on your costitutional rights??????? HA HA HA .....

      Nyiks11 - 2011-11-21 22:21

      I stand for correction but I think you meant to say Rand Merchant Bank

  • Alva - 2011-11-21 21:10

    Birds of a feather flock together! First Sheik now Maharaj! Please? Who is trying to fool who? The association of Zuma and Maharaj is to keep tabs on the arms deal!

  • Bob - 2011-11-21 21:22

    Maybe it is time we adopt the Libya way! If they continue with this deceit, lies and corruption...we protest peacefully. If that does not work, we simply revolt! There is no other language that these people can understand except stern rolling mass action. They will continue to hoodwink us as long as we continue to lay apathetic. Enough is enough…it is time to demand true democracy with full transparency. And Fcku the Info Bill!!!!!

  • Thabo - 2011-11-21 22:45

    I don't care much whether Mr Maharaj is guilty or innocent, only that the truth must come out and if he is indeed implicated, must face the concequences. But you can't excuse the media for shoddy work and criminal conduct. We read the trash they churn out all the time and accept it as fact. We also want to defend their criminal acts because we beleive it is "in the public interest". If you're ever close to a story or the people implicated in it you'll know how much facts are distorted and blatant lies told by the holier than though 4th estate. They know that by not divulging their source they are habouring a criminal who stole and gave them the info. They also know they can misrepresent any facts to sensationalise the story. If they have the courage of their conviction then they must publish and be damned by the laws. Yes, I hate corruption and the way it has ripped out the soul of our nation, but the brown envelope media we have in SA is, I repeat, a disgrace.

      Kevin - 2011-11-22 05:42

      What do you do when your government is mostly the criminal?

  • Mantsho - 2011-11-21 22:57

    Because a friend of a thief is a thief.

  • Kevin - 2011-11-22 05:33

    A good president would be furious, suspend a thug and launch a massive investigation. If the sick disgusting info bill is passed will all these thugs get away with these huge great train robbery's.So many thugs in government need a 20 year spell in Leeuwkop.

  • Kevin - 2011-11-22 05:39

    The MP's called to parliament to try force the info bill will make all South Africans suffer and take away any protection they themselves might have had.They will be guilty of one of the biggest crimes against a nation.

  • swavka - 2011-11-22 07:10

    Wasn't he the same with Bheki Cele - silent! Eish this man is once again pondering. Until after the next election......maybe depends on how deep the hole is that Maharaj digs for himself, because JZ isn't going down with him. He has by now cleared the way for him to come up smelling like a rose. And he really wants to stay in power, so that he can steal and rape the country some more, and cover up his misdeeds.

  • Ryan - 2011-11-22 08:16

    Of course Zuma is silent. He is complicit. He is the poster boy for corruption. Zuma is a symbol for all that is wrong with this country. There is nothing surprising in his silence, it is to be expected.

  • sisandach - 2011-11-22 08:40

    Such Rubbish though

  • ezekiel.ratshefola - 2011-11-22 09:16

    The comment from JZ should have read: After digesting all evidence in front of me, Mac I declare you not guilty my man.

  • Deeteem - 2011-11-22 09:21

    Dear herdboy, is it possible to apply your mind to this matter ASAP or shall we wait till after Christmas or Easter ?

  • jack.kukard - 2011-11-22 09:32

    Like we say in AFRIKAANS , soort soek soort.....

  • Siotine - 2011-11-22 14:20

    People I have just come to the true realization that Jacob Zuma is actually a piece of wood from an outside shower.

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