Mail & Guardian editor-in-chief Nic Dawes says there is “no basis” for the criminal charges laid on Saturday by attorneys acting for presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj against the newspaper and two of its investigative reporters.
“We view this as a clear ploy to use the police to go after our sources,” Dawes told Independent Newspapers.
In a brief statement Maharaj said his attorneys had laid a criminal charge and had asked the SAPS “to investigate the possible theft of the records of various inquiries conducted by the National Prosecuting Authority”.
The move came a day after the M&G hit the shelves with a front page bearing a banner “censored”. Large sections of the lead story were blacked out, reminiscent of a tactic resorted to by newspapers during the apartheid-era state of emergency in the 1980s.