Relative reveals Maharaj’s ‘dirty secret’
The sister-in-law of presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj has revealed she knew about alleged corrupt payments made into a secret Swiss bank account.
Shirene Caim told the Mail&Guardian she knew of the bank account opened in Geneva by Maharaj’s wife Zarina into which money was paid, allegedly obtained from kickbacks on a 1990 contract for new drivers’ licences.
The payments in 1996 flowed from a subsidiary of French multinational company Thales, via a Swiss account controlled by Schabir Shaik.
Maharaj was minister of transport in 1996 when Thales subsidiary IDMatics, in consortium with Shaik, bid for the contract to produce the new credit card-style drivers’ licences.
Caim, who lives in London and is an uMkhonto weSizwe veteran, has had a strained relationship with her sister, but it apparently deteriorated after she learned of the bank account.
In a recent email to the Mail&Guardian she said: “I’d hoped that by now, justice would prevail.”
The Scorpions investigated Maharaj regarding the bank account but the case was withdrawn in 2009.