Maharaj took arms deal bribes - claim

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 Piggott 2011-11-20 02:14:56 PM
The Stench just wont go away, until all of these guys are opened up like a kipper.
jerhone 2011-11-20 02:16:01 PM
another ANC clown bites the dust
Rhenus Malovhele 2011-11-20 02:23:14 PM
now that we got another culprit, let put him behind the bars where he belongs
Sylvester.Mohloli 2011-11-20 02:32:35 PM
he cdnt even give clear ansas to that dumbwit, Justice Malala on etv earlier, eish!! :(
Atholl Canterbury 2011-11-20 02:36:12 PM
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!
Christo Smit 2011-11-20 02:39:55 PM
Jy is nie so slim as wat jy voorgee nie ... Jou k&k is in die pos.
Herman Benjamin Brummer 2011-11-20 02:55:38 PM
I can`t say the whole ANC is corrupt, but I could say that the most of the ANC is corrupt.
YarWellnofine 2011-11-20 02:59:55 PM
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.
Roy W 2011-11-20 03:01:25 PM
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.
JannieSwem 2011-11-20 03:05:47 PM
oh dear mac, jannie has to come for you now as well, you have been naughty....jannies list is growing..