Maharaj won't deny lying about arms deal

2011-11-21 07:27

Cape Town - Presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj refused to confirm or deny in an 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 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.

  • Dirk - 2011-11-21 07:33

    He stole, he lied, he deceived, but no, he is not corrupt.How simple? ANC logic!

      procold2 - 2011-11-21 09:08

      @dirk, fits right in hey, but i think hes going to take a fall here.

      BA - 2011-11-21 09:17

      Maharaj you a dishonest fool man!

      Daniel - 2011-11-21 09:18

      What amazes me is that this man is IN the office of the president, as his spokesperson. What does this say about his BOSS, and the fact that they both continue to hold office ?

      Repline - 2011-11-21 09:33

      Old, Mac Maharaj, had a arms-deal... He-hi-he-hi-ho, and on this arms-deal he told a lie.... He-hi-he-hi-ho. With a lie, lie here and a lie, lie there, here a lie there a lie everywhere a lie, lie. Old, Mac Maharaj, had a arms-deal... He-hi-he-hi-ho.

      Repline - 2011-11-21 09:53

      Now, Mac Maharaj, is being questioned... He-hi-he-hi-ho, and he is getting scared, of imprisonment.... He-hi-he-hi-ho. With a lie, lie here and a lie, lie there, here a lie there a lie everywhere a lie, lie. Old, Mac Maharaj, had a arms-deal... He-hiiiiii-he-hiiiiiii-ho.

  • Herman - 2011-11-21 07:38

    Liar! May all corruption and criminal dealings this anc regime has comitted be made public and may all the criminals be placed behind locked doors! Where is the bribe and stolen money shabir made??

      Sylvia - 2012-03-15 17:57

      Amen to that!

  • Sharkshoot - 2011-11-21 07:40

    He even looks dishonest. He reminds me of some of the villians in the Disney movies...he's a real life caricature.

      John - 2011-11-21 08:22

      The piece of vermin is one of the main corrupt ANC fools. He actually looks like those drawings of the devil in the Children's Bible and he fits the profile perfectly. He has been on the forefront in enriching himself and one of the main architects of the phrase "we didn't struggle to be poor". ANC trash deluxe!

  • Wikus - 2011-11-21 07:47

    What do you expect of a country governed by ex-convicts.

      Ally - 2011-11-21 12:45

      I expect those ex-convicts to be more ethical and honest. After all, most were sentenced and jailed because of the lies of apartheid -- these people were not intrinsically dishonest back then. What has happen? Well, they misinterpretted the wrod "freedom" and have gone overboard. One thing the apartehid boeties taught the anc cadres is how to play the system -- the anc was handed a blueprint in 1994!

      Nyiks11 - 2011-11-21 13:48

      @Wikus That is not a fair comment Sir , I need not comment any further

  • Patrick - 2011-11-21 07:48

    How can you tell when Mac is lying? When his lips are moving!

      Wes - 2011-11-21 08:41

      No when you see him as he is already thinking of the next lie

  • Jerhone - 2011-11-21 07:49

    suspend the corrupt bastard without pay and send him back to the Gangis

      stuart.steedman - 2011-11-21 08:28

      I agree with the sentiment, but not the racism. It's the same logic our "Yoof League" uses when they tell the whites to go back to Europe. Not cool.

      tasmee.hylkema - 2012-08-03 21:59

      Agreed Stuart. Thanks for that!

  • Missionman - 2011-11-21 07:50

    Where there is smoke there is fire. I recon a lot more than what we think will surface before this is over. I think he if inocent would have given a simple no to rhe answers which did not happen in the interview. The problem we are all faced with in this country is that the ANC in terms of their values think they are doing a great job BUT in terms of other value systems they are a dismal failure. The ANC IS TOTALLY oblivious to this and the fact that there are people with different and higher value systems.

      Albert - 2011-11-21 08:27

      The worrying part is that a newspaper must uncover this.Whers is SARS and the NPA in all this.If i should suddenly put R2mil in my acount,a lot of explaining will have to be done.

      johnkk - 2011-11-21 09:28

      M..Man you have just hit the nail right on the head. Unfortunately (for the South African voter)what you do not know will not hurt you. Their are so many brilliant South African minds out there that are not being used, and are being blocked because they do not share the same value system as the ANC. We could all share a beautiful and thriving South Africa if the gov appointed qualified people for a job instead of a political connection. Sad, very sad.

      Marion - 2011-11-21 10:42

      @Albert, if the government has its way tomorrow then things like this will probably be covered up (just like in the days of Apartheid) to protect everyone involved in corruption etc. Press Club has requested that everyone should wear BLACK tomorrow to show solidarity in protesting against the implementation of the Information Protection Bill. Also, you can go to : to sign a petition although it may be too little too late.

  • Deeteem - 2011-11-21 08:01

    If ever there was anybody who deserves to be nailed then this arrogant, thieving bastard is in the front of the Q !!!

  • VanGraan - 2011-11-21 08:13

    Mac Maharaj "I won't answer your questions even though your name is justice" KwaaaKwaaa

  • Michael - 2011-11-21 08:14

    Hey Mac - what kind of a Mac are you? Surely not from Maritzaburg?

      Joanita - 2011-11-21 09:24

      Mac donalds meal...extra garnish..

  • leerobbertse - 2011-11-21 08:28

    ANC - WE FOOL THE WORLD - YOU suckers !!!

      mlesoli - 2011-11-21 09:29

      Leave the ANC out of this, here its about corrupt individual not the whole of the ANC

      Michael - 2011-11-21 09:59

      @mlesoli - they are all painted with the same brush! They (the whole ANC caboodle) think and perceive it their god-given right to steal! And the sad thing is that if and when found out it is like water off a ducks back!

  • VanGraan - 2011-11-21 08:29


  • Philip - 2011-11-21 08:41

    Lord help us, from these theiving, dishonest government......

  • Derk - 2011-11-21 08:41

    give that man a BIG MAC

  • Brainbow - 2011-11-21 08:45

    Mac's body language doesn't look good at all. It appears as if things are starting to fall apart rather quickly for the ruling party.

  • Andre - 2011-11-21 08:45

    JZ has surrounded himself with his type and mind-like people. How embaressing for SA? The one is as corrupt as the next one. What a shame. Very few of them do not belong in jail.

  • Roy - 2011-11-21 08:48

    This man is just one of the many in the ANC who are stealing,on a regular basis,from the coffers of the country and getting away with it. They use their positions to lie and steal and the stupid people who voted for them are to blind to see that they are the ones to suffer big time. Perhaps we need the same method of getting rid of them by doing what what they did in Libya and the rest of the Arab world.

  • reinhard.pettenburger - 2011-11-21 08:50

    Its all very well to jump on the band wagon and blame people for being corrupt by Taking bribes etc. but we should question those offering the bribes what is being done to them?? How can we expect to stop corruption if so called "upstanding businessmen" continually offer incentives in order to get the contracts? Stop this from the root otherwise we will never be able to get grips with corruption.

      Joanita - 2011-11-21 09:17

      I agree Reinhard. The name Shabir Shaik pops up... The same man that was apparently dying 3 years ago! Ironically he is still roaming mother earth, must have been one of those miracles nobody else qualifies to receive! Bunch of thieving basT@rds

  • Mphotent - 2011-11-21 09:00

    Cde Maharaj must remain silent in this issue...its my advise to refrain from acting like Juju, when you remain silent nothing is used against you, there more you articulate yourself the more guilt manifest itself. It further raises concerns why these newspaper's are bringing this information now, is it to gain political scores in favour of DA? I wonder, I must say that the integrity of the alleged newspapers is becoming more questionable.

      johnkk - 2011-11-21 09:33

      For a man of your ability, I do not understand why you would not want to discover the truth.

      colin.dovey - 2011-11-21 09:40

      English 101 - for a Harvard Graduate: 1. advise = "advice" 2. manifest = "manifests" 3. integrity of alleged newspapers....? - does not make sense

      Wikus - 2011-11-21 09:54


      Michael - 2011-11-21 10:04

      @Impotent - my advice to you is that you advise your mother not to dress you funny!

      Michael - 2011-11-21 10:05

      @johnkk - what ability???

  • Had - 2011-11-21 09:06

    I don't think that one day goes by without a new ANC fraud / corruption scandal being reported in the media.

  • Gregory Jurgens - 2011-11-21 09:07

    I respect u for not denying the issue. It shows u have some integrity . Be a star and contribute to the future. Tell the truth and nothing but the truth. We will love u for it. Vote Mac for president.

      Joanita - 2011-11-21 09:22

      HAHAHAH, Im glad you respect him for taking the 5th. what a cliche

      Gregory Jurgens - 2011-11-21 09:41

      U a angel. But better off with devil u know than the angel u don't .

      Gregory Jurgens - 2011-11-21 12:44


  • Joanita - 2011-11-21 09:12

    VanGraan - November 21, 2011 at 08:13 Report comment Mac Maharaj "I won't answer your questions even though your name is justice" KwaaaKwaaa - HAHAHAHAHAHA! love it VanGraan!

  • chwama.mahlulo - 2011-11-21 09:14

    Jay Zee new about the dark cloud and controvencies that has been hanging on top of his spokes person, but he hired him anyway. This just demonstrate that we are being governed by mafia group pretending to be genuine politicians. It's high time for the ANC to act against their president before SA is turned to a circus republic. Just fire Jay Zee to win back our confidence in the ANC and screen every candidate that campaigns to be the next president. Go to Nkandla and party with all your unscroupuous mafia gang and detain yourself with all the pussssss''ies rented from our taxes.

  • Manie - 2011-11-21 09:20


  • Graham - 2011-11-21 09:45

    How about this scenario- Zuma's pal Maharaj is informed of upcoming commission and possible consequencies-court case etc. Now, if he is a minister of something or other, who pays his court fees? Easy, the people he lied to and stole from in the first place!

  • Hugh - 2011-11-21 09:45

    noticve how his lips moved. He pronouced every word.

  • Thelma - 2011-11-21 09:52

    There are still some very famous names to be linked to this scandal.....can't wait!!!!!

  • Cheryl - 2011-11-21 10:08

    Freaking circus.....

  • Jacob - 2011-11-21 10:28

    When the arms deal came up way back just after 1994, I told my friends we do not need arms - the only reason for it was to create possibilities for corruption. Our enemies were then and still are now - poverty, unemployment, AIDS, etc. Nobody can fight those enemies with guns and planes and ships

      Maila - 2011-11-21 10:58

      you know Jacob, sadly when stories such as these appear, most of us miss the chance to reflect and discuss constructively. we are quick to be racist, slanderous and display many other qualities that wont get us anywhere. anyway you are correct, most big deals are a precipe for corruption and corruptive relationships. the stadiums, gautrain, the power stations, the tolls are some cases in point. people bribe, people collude to fix prices, people exploit gaps that may lead them quicker to the end - sort of Machiavellianism(sic). i stand for the positive story of South africa and it is my hope that all of us resist the temptation to stray from good norms and operate cleanly is all our interactions. i cannot speak factually about Mac's case and like most conclusions we see here, it is speculative. what does South Africa, CORRECTION, what do politics need to operate less clandestine and more nobly to the benefit of all citizens. that is a question that I humbly pose in hope to see a better day for my South Africa. I say my South Africa, not this country as it is readily mentioned by media, politicians etc - I take ownership of changing my South Africa - could we not start working towards that direction?

  • Marion - 2011-11-21 10:32

    I honestly thought the Scorpions had been disbanded. So who, in fact, holds these documents? Mac, a simple NO would have sufficed because by refusing to either confirm or deny you have left the South African public with no option but to believe that you have something you want to hide. All you had to do was say NO.

  • Patrick - 2011-11-21 11:04

    I honestly believe that in order to hold any position within the ANC it is compulsory to have a criminal record, be corrupt, arrogant when caught out, take bribes and steal left , right and centre. Oh. Having multiple wives, mistresses and siring countless babies is an added recommendation for high office.

  • Siotine - 2011-11-21 11:11

    Pathetic excuse for a human. I wonder what handicap Shabir is on nowadays as well.

  • Preshen - 2011-11-21 11:24

    He looks like the KFC kernel

  • Alva - 2011-11-21 11:31

    What a slime ball!

  • Missionman - 2011-11-21 11:36

    Has any body thought about the fact that Malema could have been the wistle blower - revenge and I do think he knows more than what he lets on about a lot of things behind the scenes ??????????

  • Maximus Odinidus - 2011-11-21 11:37

    Life in prison

  • Greg - 2011-11-21 11:41

    This Government is a bloody sickening lot of hypocrites!!! Look at the four innocent children who died walking to look for food while they, like a bunch of fat swine, fight over the trough. No room for the weak, the poor, the children!!! Me, myself & I!! Hypocrites in all aspects of their lives!!! Lord help us!!!!

  • Ayabulela - 2011-11-21 12:31

    wow this guy!! does not give up. although he has been caught out he continues to lie

  • Nigel - 2011-11-21 12:36

    the fish rots from the head, the ANC fish is rotten, but the sheep will continue to vote for the ANC

      Michael - 2011-11-21 13:28

      Hi Nigel - yea - but the sad truth is that this country is on its way to the gutter - we handed these sheeple a bucket of ice cream - they have gone and dumped a turd in it! What a shame!

  • Shirley - 2011-11-21 13:43

    Anybody who is innocent will stand firm and deny it. He said he wants representaion present{from a legal point} Theres a lot of spin doctoring and panic in government today and this secrecy bill is their only way out!!! Hes a thieving excuse of a human being!

  • Nyiks11 - 2011-11-21 13:43

    the problem with lying is that you are going to have to keep on lying to cover up the original lie

  • Cheryl - 2011-11-21 15:43

    No dont put them all in jail..rather.......line them up at every rugby /football match all year, every year and let the crowds throw rotten tomatoes at them ....i would love to see that. weekly public humiliation for these arrogant puffed up farts that have nothing to be proud of other than the big salaries and big cars. gemors!!!

  • helmut.smrz - 2012-10-19 11:20

    He is a arrogant thiefing scumbag

  • kevin.c.lind - 2013-02-01 10:56


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