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This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

Mac Maharaj's time line submission

In re: The Hefer Commission

MAC MAHARAJ

No.

Item

Date

Pg

A.

B.

Description

PERSONAL HISTORY

BROAD OUTLINE OF EVIDENCE

1.

Search Warrant

30.08.01

1 - 7

Warrant Issued against SS. Search and

seize conducted.

2.

List of Questions

14.02.03

8 – 9

Sunday Times submits written questions to Mac.

3.

Mac Reply

14.02.03

10

Mac writes out a statement.

Mac phones BN because he infers that somebody in BN's office had leaked information that person obtained from the documents seized from SS. BN assures Mac that his investigation had found no illegal act by Mac. Mac reads out a statement to him. (The statement he had prepared for the Sunday Times in which he denied any impropriety.) BN confirms that he is satisfied with statement that Mac has prepared. Mac then asks if he will publicly exonerate him and he replies that he cannot until he has issued a final report on his investigation into the arms deal. (At this stage Mac believes that the information was leaked without the knowledge of BN.)

Mac e-mails his statement to Sunday Times.

4.

Further Questions

14.02.03

11

Sunday Times e-mails a set of further questions to Mac.

Mac does not reply

5.

Maharaj Billing

14.02.03

11b

Cell C record of calls made.

6.

Sunday Times

16.02.03

12-14

Sunday Times publishes a front page article under the head-line "Shaik paid money to Maharaj" and the article states that "Documents, including bank statements, invoices, financial records and faxes show that Shaik or his companies paid a total of R535 352 to Maharaj, his wife Zarina, or her company, Flisan Investments."

(These documents relate to the allegation of corruption while Mac was the Minister of Transport.)

The article:

(a) insinuates that Mac, while Minister of Transport, awarded contracts to Mr Schabir Shaik and his companies on the basis of bribery and corruption.

(b) Mac did not declare payments and gifts received from Mr. Shaik to Parliament as required by the Parliamentary Code of Conduct.

COMMENTS:

Mac analyses events of 14 and 16 February 2003 and draws the conclusion that:

(a) ST article is a serious attack on his integrity.

(b) ST was aware (from documents and oral briefings leaked by BN) that he was being investigated by Scorpions – something he was unaware of at that time. (When he met the Scorpions they advised him that they had been investigating him since April 2002.)

(c) ST report appears to be based on documents etc confiscated by Scorpions in a search of Mr. Shaik and his companies under the Nkobi Holding Group;

(d) The leak to the ST is from the Scorpions but Mac presumes Mr Ngcuka is not party to the leak – takes Mr Ngcuka's reassurances at face value.

(e) The disclosure of information to the ST appears to be a breach of the NPA Act committed by a person within the Scorpions.

  

17.03.03

 

Mac meets First Rand executives and proposes need for an inquiry to clear his name. This arose because of the Press releases, and in particular, BN's refusal to exonerate Mac publicly.

7.

Press Release

17.03.03

15

First Rand appoints Hofmeyr, Herbstein & Gihwala to conduct an independent inquiry and grants Mac leave of absence. First Rand issues a press release.

8.

Press Release

17.03.03

16

Mac releases statement confirming that QUOTE "I shall be giving the enquiry my full cooperation".

9.

Press Release

28.05.03

 

First Rand decides to add Deloitte & Touche to the inquiry team.

A request is made to the Sunday Times to make available any information they have on hand to assist with the investigation. ST refuses to make any of the documentation on which it based its report available to the Inquiry even though Mac gives his consent and the request clearly states that the Inquiry does not seek disclosure as to the source of the ST information.

   

17.

[GET COPY OF DEWAR LETTER FROM CHEADLES]

  

00.05.03

 

Scorpions subpoena between 30-40 officials from Dept of Transport, the National Roads Agency etc as part of their investigation into Mac.

10.

Subpoena

13.06.03

18-22

Mac and Zarina subpoenaed to appear before Scorpions, which they do on 19 and 20 June respectively.

"The preparatory investigation pertaining to allegations of fraud and or corruption against SR Maharaj and Schabir Shaik and Nkobi Group of companies in respect of negotiations for and or award of the national drivers licence contractg and or the N3 toll road contract"

11.

Submission

19.06.03

23-24

Mac submits a written submission and gives oral evidence. In both written and oral submission Mac formally raises his concerns with the Scorpions that they had leaked the information to the Sunday Times and states:

PARA 3, 4, 5: [Need to read into Record]

"I therefore want to formally place on record that I shall strive to be cooperative and open with the investigation, but that I shall hold the directorate fully responsible if anything of what I say here were to reach the media and the public."

  

26.06.03

 

Zarina Maharaj submits a written submission and gives oral evidence.

  

30.07.03

 

Scorpions subpoena Schabir Shaik on the matter and he cooperates with the investigation. He cooperates because after Mac became aware of the subpoena, SS advised him that he did not want to cooperate and Mac impressed upon him that he should cooperate and the two of them knew that no corruption had taken place and by SS cooperating, this would clear Mac's name.

  

00.00.03

 

Scorpions subpoena Mr Schabir Shaik on the matter and he cooperates with the investigation.

12.

e-mail

23.07.03

28-30

Ugly e-mail "comrade criminal" circulates. (Comrade criminal was a reference to undisciplined elements during the struggle and the author refers to BN as a comrade criminal).

  

24.07.03

 

BN holds a secret meeting with a group of six Black Editors in Sandton.

Rumours of the meeting and its nature filter out.

13.

"Minute"

 

31-35

A minute of the briefing to editors.

R ar

Article

25.07.03

36

Sowetan

"Scorpions to track down e-mail source"

15.

Article

27.07.03

37

Sunday Times

"Law must prevail over intimidation"

"What Scorpions took in raid on Schabir Shaik"

16.

Article

 

38

City Press

"A below-the-belt e-smear"

17.

Article

 

39

Sunday World

"NIA probes origin of mystery email"

  

28.07.03

 

Business Day

18.

Article

 

40

"Zuma raps Scorpions over arms deal probe"

19.

Article

 

41-42

Cape Times

"Zuma hits back at Scorpions"

20.

Article

 

43

The Star

"Zuma up in arms"

21.

Article

 

44-45

Citizen

"Zuma question Scorpions leak"

22.

Article

 

45a

Sowetan

"Zuma slams Scorpions"

  

29.07.03

 

Cape Times

23.

Article

 

46

"Smoke and Mirrors"

24.

Article

 

47

"Maduna denies the Scorpions leak questions put to Zuma"

Business Day

25.

Article

 

48

"High drama as Maduna stray over leaked Arms deal question"

Sowetan

26.

Article

 

49

"Zuma furore hots up"

27.

Article

30.07.03

50

Cape Argus

"Shaik given six hour grilling by Scorpions"

  

31.07.03

 

On the evening of the 31st July 2003, Jovial Rantao political editor of the Star and Independent contacts Maharaj and informs him he has information acquired from the Scorpions within the past seven days to the effect that his wife is going to be charged for tax evasion.

Rantao refuses to divulge the name of the person who is his source save to say that he "had no reason to doubt" the source.

Maharaj immediately phoned BN, raised the question with him that a person in the Scorpions was briefing the media. (Mac was unaware of the substance of the meeting of the 24th although he was aware that a meeting had taken place.)

BN evaded answering the questions in respect of the leak coming from the Scorpions but assured Mac that there was no truth that his wife was going to be arrested and charged. BN then handed the phone to the Minister of Justice (PM) who evaded the complaint about the leak but gave the same assurance.

BN asked Mac to ensure that Mr Rantoa phone him so that BN could tell him that there was no truth to the version. Maharaj phoned Mr Rantoa and tape- recorded the conversation.

28

Billing Record

31.07.03

51

Cell C

29

Recording

 

52

Transcription of Rantao Mac telephone discussion follows. Rantao confirmed that his source was the Scorpions.

30

Press Release

 

53-54

Following the conversation with Rantao, Mac issued a statement dated 31st July 2003, which he released to the Press.

"I am releasing this statement tol the media because I believe that Mr Rantao received this confirmation directly from Mr Ngcuka (i.e. there is no truth that Mrs Maharaj is to be charged), then there is a duty on Mr Rantao to reveal the identity of his source in the Scorpions. There can be no place in the Scorpions for a person who manipulates his/her position of power and information in a state investigating and prosecuting authority to misuse his position to pursue hidden agendas. Such a person must be identified, investigated and charged."

31

Article

 

55

Business Day

"Sting in Tail"

32

Article

 

56

Cape Times

Zuma drafts his reply – and swipes at Ngucka

33

Article

 

57

Die Burger

"Zuma pak Ngcuka en Maduna kaalvuis"

34

Complaint

01.08.03

58

Maharaj files a complaint with the National Commissioner of SAPS.

"I therefore believe that someone in the Scorpions acting outside of his/her authority and therefore illegally had leaked the story to smear my wife and family; that such an act was undermining the authority of the Scorpions…. I therefore believe that the leak from the Scorpions warrants investigation."

35

Article

 

59-60

Mail & Guardian

"A Nation on Trial"

36

Email

00.08.03

60(a)

Confirmation of receipt of e-mail.

Maharaj is increasingly of the view that Scorpions are deliberately blackening his name with no intention to either charge or exonerate him and acting unlawfully.

His is now anxious for the Scorpions to state their position as it is affecting his employment prospects.

37

Billing

06.08.03

61

Cell C Billing Record

Mac phoned BN and advised him that BN's failure to state publicly that there were no charges contemplated against him (refer to telephone conversation 14/02/03 – item 3 – where BN advised that his investigation had found no illegal act by Mac – something that he had consistently indicated to Mac) – he was creating a situation where Mac's position with FirstRand was in jeopardy.

BN told Maharaj that he would only do so (publicly state that there were no charges to be brought against Mac) if he prevailed on JZ and SS to have their matters and Mac's matters attended through mediation.

Maharaj told BN that this was tantamount to holding the resolution of his matter to ransom, even though he was saying that he was not going to bring any charges against him. BN remained firm in his view that all three matters had to be attended through a single mediation process. He added that if Mac was willing to bring this about, he, BN, would make himself available within 24 hours.

(The motive behind BN was the following. If Mac consented to mediation, this would have implied some wrongdoing on his part. Moreover, by prevailing upon Mac if he were able to secure JZ's consent to mediation, the same stigma would attach. After all, why would two innocent men consent to a mediation?)

The matters referred to were the criminal investigations in regard to the alleged illegal activities of JZ and SS. The deal proposed by BN was this. BN will announce publicly that he would not bring any charges against Mac, provided Mac was able to prevail on JZ and SS through the mediation process to do the following:

(a) SS would have to admit guilt to a set of offences and then a plea-bargaining procedure would be initiated in regard to the sentence to be imposed.

(b) JZ must complete the answers to the statutory questions, furnish the answers to Kessie Naidoo and BN and Kessie would look at the answers and if necessary, refine them to a suitable form and if JZ agreed to the refined answers, then there would be an announcement that no charges would be brought against JZ.

(c) Lastly, any financial irregularities in regard to Mac's wife, would be sorted out, e.g. tax.

  

06.08.03

 

MEDIATION

Mac received a phone call from Deepak Patel, (the CEO of Stannic who was a friend of Mac).

DP advised Mac that he was acting as an intermediary at the request of "a reliable person whose identity he could not reveal" and who advised that BN wanted to effect a mediated solution and suggested that Mr Ismail Ayob act as a mediator.

On the same day a similar proposal was made to Yunis Shaik by Ivor Powell, who is an investigator attached to the Scorpions and a close confidant of BN.

Yunis held a meeting with Powell on the 6th August 2003 at the Rosebank Hotel. The meeting was attended and facilitated by Dirk Hartford (see pg 101 of bundle).

The purpose of the meeting was to agree a mediator and a process to resolve the dilemma presented by the Maharaj, Shaik and Zuma matter. At the meeting Powell suggested that Ayob Ismail be the facilitator and Yunis suggested Cyril Ramaphosa.

Yunis undertook to consult with JZ, Mac and SS and report back on the willingness to participate in such a process and canvas the names of the mediator.

  

06.08.03

 

Mac asks Ayob to meet BN on the basis that he was going to be an intermediary and not as a mediator.

  

07.08.03

 

Ayob met BN on or about the 7th August 2003 at 08h00 in the Sheraton Hotel, Pretoria. Once again BN was linking all three matters and Mac advised Ayob to simply inform BN that Ayob had spoken to Mac and was waiting his response.

BN confirms to Ayob that he wants a mediation in respect of all three issues.

Ayob reports this to Mac. Mac then tells Ayob to say no more than that he, Ayob, had reported BN's request to Macd and to say nothing more.

Powell has several conversations with Yunis (they all know that Yunis is Moe's brother and Schabir's brother). Powell advised Yunis that Cyril is acceptable to BN. Cyril is invited to call BN.

Yunis reports on discussion held with Powell with Mac and Schabir and JZ. JZ does not agree to mediation. Mac and Schabir agree to explore the prospect of mediation, provided Mr Ramaphosa is appointed as the mediator.

  

07.08.03

 

Yunis contacts Cyril and Cyril confirms that he is available to mediate.

38

Article

08.08.03

62

The Star

"The Day Mac Maharaj Made History"

  

09.08.03

 

Zarina is shocked at the conduct of BN and how he is willing to hold her and Mac to ransom. She gives a report to the Sunday Independent exposing BN's "mediation" overtures.

39

Article

09.08.03

62a

Sunday Independent

  

13.08.03

 

Yunis indicates to Powell that Mac is in danger of having to give up his job and that it would be an act of good faith for Scorpions to make a public announcement to the fact confirming they do not intend to charge him and that they have found no act of unlawfulness.

Later that evening Powell phones Yunis and advised him that BN is prepared to make such an announcement. Powell directs that a journalist must be told to phone Sipho Ngwema and Sipho will confirm the fact that the Scorpions are not going to prosecute Mac.

The next morning a journalist from Radio 702 phones Scorpions and the journalist is told that a decision on the matter has not been taken and as far as he was aware investigation was continuing.

  

05.08.03

 

Yunis, the next day, tracks down Powell at 3pm and asks why no confirmation was given to the journalist. Powell advises that he misunderstood BN and BN was not prepared to confirm in the Press that no charges were to be brought against Mac.

He stated that this (no prosecution) would only be confirmed through the mediation process and that they were prepared to deal with Mac's issue as the first issue of the mediation. He further says that they should not worry because the mediation is going to begin that evening at 6 o'clock with Mr Ramaphosa. This was not true as BN postponed the scheduled meeting he had for the evening with Cyril.

Cyril and BN have several discussions on the phone and agree on a date for a face to face meeting. This does not materialize and Cyril decides to pull out of the process. Cyril issues a press statement.

Mac raises the question in the public arena about his concerns relating to the improper way in which the Scorpions are conducting their investigation.

40

Article

12.08.03

63

The Star

"Press freedom must show both sides"

41

Press

14.08.03

64-72

First Rand enquiry concluded. First Rand release issues statement:

"The Board has accepted the reports finding that the investigative team did not find any evidence to substantiate allegations of corruption and did not find any evidence linking payments from Mr Shaik to Mr or Mrs Maharaj to the awards of the N3 Toll Roads and Drivers Licence contracts."

42

Press

14.08.03

73-74

Mac resigns from First Rand. He calls a press release conference. At the conference he raises the matter of leaks to the media. QUOTE:

"Since then I have come across further indicators of leaks to the media by the Scorpions. Such leaks seriously prejudice the persons being investigated and undermine the credibility of the investigating agency. The slander that has been visited upon me by such leaks have been harmful and deeply hurtful to my family and me. This is unacceptable in the democratic, just and constitutionally ordered society our country is building."

Sunday Times

43

Article

17.08.03

75

"Ramaphosa Steps into Arms Row"

44

Article

 

76-77

"Mac must show his true colours"

  

18.08.03

 

Business Day

45

Articles

 

78

"Ramaphosa backs out of talks on Zuma Deal"

46

Articles

 

79

"No deal on Zuma"

Cape Times

47

Articles

 

80

"Ramaphosa rules out role in Scorpions Investigation"

48

Press release

23.08.03

81-92

On 23 August BN issues a Press statement. In paragraph 25 of the statement he denies that he ever sought mediation. He makes the comment that "We have never asked for nor sought mediation. We do not need and we do not mediate in matters of this nature. However, we have no objection to people making representation to us, be it in respect of prosecutions or investigations."

This statement was a misrepresentation of the facts. The entire exercise was initiated at his request.

49

Press release

24.08.03

93-94

Deputy President J Zuma issues a press release.

50

Article

24.08.03

95-99

Sunday Times

"Zuma keeping presidency in his sights"

51

Article

 

100

"Zuma off the hook"

Attention is drawn to the following:

"Justice minister Maduna who sat at Ngcuka's side during yesterday's press conference, said that evidence suggesting Zuma was implicated in arms deal corruption was a 'sad moment for us all'. (It is a sad day for us all, unfortunately the Deputy President has a case to answer)."

52

Statement

25.08.03

101-102

Statement of Dirk Hartford that confirms in fact that a facilitated process with a third party was proposed.

At this stage Maharaj was convinced that BN was acting in utmost bad faith and unlawfully.

53

Article

29.08.03

103

Mail & Guardian

"In the court of public opinion"

54

Article

 

104

"Zuma for Sale"

  

30.08.03

 

During or about early September 2003, Ranjeni contacted Mac and he too confirms that indeed an investigation had been conducted by the ANC into BN to determine if he was a spy. Having made the confirmation, an article was then published in City Press on September 7, 2003.

City Press

55

Article

07.09.03

105-106

"Was Ngcuka a spy?" – This information was confirmed by Mo and also confirmed by Mac relying on what was told to him by Mo in the 80's.

During July 1988 Mac, on the instructions of Oliver Tambo, was sent on a mission to enter the Republic clandestinely. His operation was called "Operation Vula". The objective was to set up an internal leadership in the country. This was because of a fractioning of the total struggle into different parts which were uncoordinated. To this end, he entered the country illegally and was directed by Oliver Tambo and Jacob Zuma to make contact with Mo. (Mac had met Mo in London.) Apart from his activities in the Republic, he met Mo on occasions and had discussions with him. One of Mac's objectives was to make contact with the leaders of mass democratic organizations, including Nadel.

The difficulty he always experienced was that he was never certain whether a person who represented any mass democratic organization could be trusted fully. He was aware that Mo was the head of Intelligence in South Africa. He then sought from Mo assurances as to who in the leadership of Nadel he could confidently communicate with. During these conversations Mo advised him that there was somebody in the Nadel leadership who was suspect. Mo indicated that he had not completed his investigations, but would continue and then furnish Mac with a report on his conclusions. They met from time to time but towards the end of 1989 and the beginning of 1990 Mo advised him that in his view the most likely suspect was BN.

Sowetan

56

Article

09.09.03

106a-106b

Fivaz backs Ngcuka. (He was seen in a restaurant with Ngcuka prior to this Press Release.)

City Press

57

Article

14.09.03

107

"Ngcuka row deepens"

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory site.