Publication: Issued: Date: 2003-09-26 Reporter: INet Bridge

Maharaj 'Approved' Ngcuka Post



Date 2003-09-26


I-Net Bridge

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Former Transport Minister Mac Maharaj, who has supported allegations that National Director of Public Prosecutions Bulelani Ngcuka was an apartheid spy, was present at a cabinet meeting when his appointment was approved, says Justice Minister Penuell Maduna.

Speaking during question time in the National Assembly on Thursday afternoon, Maduna said Maharaj said nothing at the time.

Responding to a question from Democratic Alliance justice spokesperson Sheila Camerer in the Assembly on Thursday, who asked whether Ngcuka had received a security clearance when he was appointed as director and whether the "impimpi" (spy) allegations had surfaced during investigations for the clearance purposes, Maduna said at no time were allegations that Ngcuka had an "ignoble past" raised by any member of the cabinet.

Camerer was referring to the row over allegations that Ngcuka was a spy which first emerged in City Press and quoted Maharaj as confirming this. A judicial commission of inquiry has been appointed to investigate the allegation.

Maduna noted that the Hefer inquiry was not about whether the director had been a spy or not, but whether he had abused his office "to promote or undermine the interests of certain people or to target certain people."

Referring to allegations by Independent Democrats leader Patricia de Lille in the National Assembly six years ago - when she was still a Pan Africanist Congress MP that he, himself, had been an apartheid spy, Maduna challenged her to provide evidence "and I would resign immediately ... I served my people proudly."

Referring to Camerer's question about Ngcuka's lack of clearance, he said: "A cursory reading of the National Prosecution Authority Act of 1998 and (the) relevant provision to constitution brings one to the unavoidable conclusion that a security clearance was never a legal requirement for an appointment to be made."

With acknowledgements to I-Net Bridge and