Mac Maharaj, a man who has dominated so many of the high places in our politics, is stepping down from his job this week. He’s just turned 80. And the job he is leaving has to be one of the toughest, hardest, most fraught in any democracy anywhere. As spokesperson for President Jacob Zuma, he has shown himself to be literally the country’s Number One spinner. No matter what you think about Mac, we will not see his like again.
I think I have to start where I first heard the name Mac Maharaj. I was working at Sunrise Radio in London. Modestly, it styled itself as “The Greatest Asian Radio Station in the World”. The bane of my existence was an old teletype printer that produced acres of copy from the Press Trust of India. One day, while trying to understand transliterated Hindi, I came across a story headlined, “Mac Maharaj, Transport Minister of Indian Origin, to step down”. It was a very strange way to first realise the existence of such a figure.
Our first meeting, somewhat inevitably, was over the phone on 702. I was standing in for John Robbie back in 2003. Maharaj…
Source : Daily Maverick