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Its time for Mac and Mo to show

17th November 2003

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It is show-time for former ANC intelligence operatives Mac Maharaj and Mo Shaik who accuse South Africa's chief prosecutor Bulelani Ngcuka of being a spy for the apartheid government and of having abused his current office for personal gain.

Both have been given a deadline for Monday by Judge Joos Hefer to present their evidence before him or face possible imprisonment.

Their lawyer, Shaik's brother Yunis, last week told the commission of inquiry established by President Thabo Mbeki to probe the veracity of the allegations that his clients faced a serious predicament: If they refused to testify before the commission, they could be sentenced to up to six months in prison.

On the other hand, if they revealed classified information, they could be jailed for up to ten years.

Their testimony was postponed on the first day of the commission's hearings weeks ago, when they asked that certain intelligence documents must first be obtained. They needed these to support their claims, the two men held.

Advocate George Bizos SC, for the various intelligence agencies, told Judge Hefer that Shaik had requested their permission to disclose confidential information. He was not granted indemnity for this.

"If he already put the information in the public domain, he will have to sleep on the bed he made for himself," Bizos said.

He added that "he who accuses must prove". – Sapa.
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