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M&G finally reveals lies Mac Maharaj told NPA about bribes over tenders

The gag order related to confidential disclosures Maharaj had made to the NPA and during which he allegedly lied.

FILE: Mac Maharaj. Picture: GCIS.

PRETORIA – Six years after the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) gagged the Mail & Guardian, the publication has finally been able to reveal the lies former spin doctor Mac Maharaj allegedly told to the NPA and the bribes he accepted to secure tenders.

The Supreme Court of Appeal ruled a week ago that the NPA Act does not impose a blanket ban on publishing confidential information but rather a balance should be struck between securing the criminal justice system and freedom of expression.

The gag order related to confidential disclosures Maharaj had made to the NPA and during which he allegedly lied.

Then acting prosecutions boss Nomgcobo Jiba rejected the newspaper’s request to publish the details in 2011.

In 2003, Maharaj was interviewed in terms of Section 28 of the NPA Act, which allows for full disclosures, but incriminating evidence may not be used against the person being questioned.

But it is an offense to provide false information.

In 2011, AmaBunghane obtained a transcript of the interview which revealed Maharaj provided information which contradicted evidence the defunct scorpions had already obtained from Swiss authorities.

Maharaj denied ever receiving funds from French company Thales but the evidence showed the company had in fact paid about R1 million into an offshore account.

Despite these contradictions, the NPA never pursued criminal charges against the former presidential spokesperson.

Maharaj’s attorney says he’s not in a position to comment because he has not seen the article.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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