Mac Maharaj responds to the Mail & Guardian
Presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj has responded to questions from the Mail & Guardian, pertaining to Friday’s story “The evidence that damns Mac”.
Maharaj has requested that the M&G publishes his response to our questions in full.
Dear Mr Brümmer,
Your email below is hereby acknowledged. In this regard I also note your phone call at 09.11 this morning [Thursday] during which you introduced yourself and wanted to know whether I had received your email; that you wanted confirmation of receipt. I advised you that I was about to start work, had not opened my system as yet but would be doing so soon.
You were anxious to receive confirmation of receipt of the email by me and wished to urged a timeous reply to the questions. Because I had previously experienced the same type of anxious calling from Sam Sole, I, at this point in our conversation, became suspicious and asked you whether you were recording the phone call.
You confirmed that you were doing so. I told you (a) that I was not recording you, (b) that I considered it unethical for you as an investigative journalist to be doing so without first alerting me that you were doing so. You denied any unethical conduct and maintained your right to do so. I told you I was not in a position to question your right (I don’t know the law on this) but I was questioning the ethics of not informing me. We had quite some to and fro discussion on this point but it took us nowhere.
For the record and in the context of the questions you have set out below I kindly request that whatever story you write around the questions posed below and/or the phone call you publish the email below that you sent in full, inclusive of the extract you have appended, and this response by me in its totality inclusive of para. 1 above. This is to ensure the public whom you seek to keep informed and claim to represent are fully and properly acquainted with both sides of the story.
You are well aware that the matter of your acquisition of the records of the DSO inquiry and especially the records of certain section 28 inquiries, are the subject of a complaint lodged by me with SAPS. It would appear that under the guise of investigative journalism you now seek to involve me in the preparation of your defence and/or mobilise public opinion on your side. Unfortunately the matter is now with the police and at this stage I prefer to leave matters there.
Given that at the National Press Club I refused to speculate about the “coincidence” of the renewed investigations relating to my wife and I by certain newspapers over the last two months, and given the sudden outpouring of articles and reports calling on me to resign my job and/or for President [Jacob] Zuma to dismiss me, and in the light of your first question, it now appears to me that the real target of this “renewed” interest is not Mac Maharaj but President Zuma and his administration. This observation has been made by many but I think it necessarily that I say so openly to you.