Maharaj took arms deal bribes - claim

2011-11-20 14:03

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma's spokesperson, Mac Maharaj, is said to have received bribes from French weapons maker Thales, which is at the centre of an arms deal probe, the Sunday Times reported.

The then transport minister was paid 1.2 million French francs (R2.3m) through an offshore bank account registered in his wife's name, before Thales was awarded a credit card licence contract, according to the newspaper's investigation.

Zuma's former financial adviser and convicted fraudster Shabir Shaik's Swiss bank account was used as a conduit by Thales to channel the money into Maharaj's wife's bank account, the newspaper alleged.

The payments were said to have been made between 1997 and 1999, when Maharaj was transport minister.

Shaik, was in 2005 sentenced to 15 years in prison for his role in soliciting bribes to Zuma prior to the awarding of arms contracts to Thales.

He has since been released on medical parole.

Over the last decade, South Africa has spent about $5bn to modernise its military, in a deal that included the purchase of 12 trainer Hawk jets and naval patrol boats from five European groups, including BAE systems and Thales, which was then known as Thomson-CSF.

Commission of inquiry

The arms purchase has been clouded by allegations of bribery to senior government officials and blemished South Africa's young democracy.

Last month government appointed a commission of inquiry to investigate claims of corruption in the awarding of the country's largest military contracts.

The commission would have the power to subpoena witnesses including Zuma, recommend legal action against individuals involved and even cancel contracts, the justice minister said.

  • Larry - 2011-11-20 14:14

    The Stench just wont go away, until all of these guys are opened up like a kipper.

  • Jerhone - 2011-11-20 14:16

    another ANC clown bites the dust

      Sheik - 2011-11-20 16:45

      Nothing will happen, "the system" will see to that.

  • rhenusm - 2011-11-20 14:23

    now that we got another culprit, let put him behind the bars where he belongs

      Albert - 2011-11-20 14:26

      And it could not have happened to a niser guy

      Gerhard - 2011-11-20 14:27

      Zuma has and still is surrounding himself with criminals. What's new?

      Heinrich - 2011-11-20 15:17

      No ! Please ! He will steal everything! There will be nothing left for us to drink.

  • Kopraal Sylvester S. Mohloli - 2011-11-20 14:32

    he cdnt even give clear ansas to that dumbwit, Justice Malala on etv earlier, eish!! :(

  • Atholl - 2011-11-20 14:36

    Mac the Man, the Transport Guru .... doth protest too much, methinks ?? Mac'key, Bribey, Arms'ee, Wifey, Money .... Corruptee .. Silence those newspapers, Mackey ... have the Editor thrown in jail ... for disclosing truth !! U can do it ! protest much!

  • cjsmit.christo - 2011-11-20 14:39

    Jy is nie so slim as wat jy voorgee nie ... Jou k&k is in die pos.

  • herman.brummer - 2011-11-20 14:55

    I can`t say the whole ANC is corrupt, but I could say that the most of the ANC is corrupt.

      Heinrich - 2011-11-20 15:11

      I think you can safely say that the whole ANC is corrupt. Who within the ANC blew the whistle on any wrongdoing lately? They won't, because they fear to lose their jobs. So they are as guilty.

      comurray - 2011-11-20 15:12

      No, just 99.9999999% are corrupt. But don't worry the vast uneducated will keep on voting for cANCer because their ballot papers only have one box next to ANC so they cannot vote for another party.

      CALAMITYSA - 2011-11-20 16:35

      But you now must accept - corruption is an African culture - not even evolution will stop it.

      Sheik - 2011-11-20 16:56

      Can't be more than three that are not.

      Sheik - 2011-11-20 16:59

      At Calamitysa. It's part of the African DNA, it runs in their blood. Even here in England, the Africans are into the not so straight things.

  • Yar - 2011-11-20 14:59

    Just a question. Shabir Shaik involved again. Does this mean he gets a new corruption charge. This would make him a repeat offender. Oh, I forgot, he isn't feelin well.

      StirMonger - 2011-11-20 15:31


  • Roy - 2011-11-20 15:01

    Since the ANC/crooks came into power we have nothing but them looking after themselves and stealing where ever possible and getting away with it. What a tragedy for the country to have such a lot of crooks "looking" after our people.

  • Jannie - 2011-11-20 15:05

    oh dear mac, jannie has to come for you now as well, you have been naughty....jannies list is growing..

  • ddejong3 - 2011-11-20 15:36

    This is a very misleading headline by News24, as it has nothing to do with the arms deal and won't be covered by that inquiry, as the story insinuates. It will need the Hawks to reopen their previous investigation into Mac.

      ddejong3 - 2011-11-20 15:41

      Additionally, News24 has stupidly opened itself to a legal action from Mac for making the accusation in its headline.

  • Pur - 2011-11-20 16:01

    Don't worry Mac. You'll do six months in a private hospital at tax-payers expense then be found to be suffering from terminal high blood pressure. Medical parole follows, then after that we can play golf every Wednesday. What's your handicap? (Besides being stupid enough to get caught) Best regards Your comrade Shabir

  • Deeteem - 2011-11-20 16:02

    This is what happens when you dig holes for others !! As the Afrikaans say " Elke hond kry sy dag " !!

  • Stolla - 2011-11-20 16:14

    What wil have to be disclosed about this, seize, grab and snap up your share whilst the 'pap' is falling ----- it is yours for the taking ----- come join our big happy family we are playing follow my leader and will therefore not end up in gaol. Shabir Shaik is the guarantee of your immunity.

  • rory.short1 - 2011-11-20 16:19

    Without doubt there was a variety of corruption associated with the arms deal. It is tragic that after all our moral struggles as a people to get free of the evils of Apartheid that members of our new government should fall straight into the arms of the arms traders, some of the most immoral people on this planet. Quite obviously opposition to Apartheid did not automatically confer moral compasses in good working order to opponents of Apartheid.

  • Sheik - 2011-11-20 16:43

    The South African government should invest in upgrading their jails, and blue lights come free.

  • Gregory Jurgens - 2011-11-20 21:45

    Hooked nose money stealer.

  • Nick - 2011-11-21 08:25

    Ah you know what, all you people keep crying about all this bribery and corruption... Wah ANC this waaah ANC that... Bribery here corruption there... You know it happens they know they doing it what are YOU doing about it huh? voting against them? do the math you "intelligent" lot, your minority vote will never change anything... its time we legalize fraud and corruption so we stop calling the ANC criminals and start accepting that its part of our African Culture, and until such time that we are a 1st world country (albeit never) nothing is going to stop the lust for wealth and power by questionable means... if you want to start changing things, get out to every "uneducated' mass of people who keep making your Anti-ANC vote a minority vote, don't leave it to Helen Zille, help the woman, get out there, ask for t-shirts ask for donations start pulling ANC tactics, take education to these people who cant even comprehend the definition of fraud and corruption or the theft of tax money because they earn so little they don't even pay tax... the only logic they see is that their ANC Angels who promise jobs housing and a better future are stealing from the richer whites... that's all they see... change the majority and you change the world, don't make it Zille's problem its YOUR problem... if you don't like it, then lets all just vote to legalize fraud and corruption so we can all get behind the ANC and get our own fingers in the pie of the Rbillion tender fraud scam syndicate

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