From the news desk

Maharaj’s last day in office

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Presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj will leave his office on Thursday for the last time and start his retirement.

Maharaj announced earlier this month that he would be retiring after four years as President Jacob Zuma’s spin doctor and special advisor.

He was appointed presidential spokesperson in June 2011.

At the time of his announcement Maharaj, who turned 80 last week, said he was leaving with mixed feelings, but had learnt that he needed to slow down.

For almost five years he has had to explain, clarify and communicate the president’s comments and actions.

These ranged from the controversy surrounding the more than R200m spent on Zuma’s private home in Nkandla, the landing of the Gupta plane at Waterkloof Air Force Base, the so-called Spy Tapes and the call to have corruption charges against him reinstated.

Not to mention the president’s comments about roads in Malawi and sending teenage mothers to Robben Island.

Satyandranath “Mac” Maharaj, who was born in Newcastle in northern KwaZulu-Natal. He was a political activist, a member of the ANC’s armed wing Umkhonto weSizwe and a leader of Operation Vula, an underground operation launched in the late 1980s.

He spent 12 years on Robben Island.

Maharaj has served government since the first democratic elections.

After the elections in 1994 he was appointed to Cabinet where he served as Minister of Transport until 1999.

In June 1999, Maharaj retired from politics and returned in 2011 as Zuma’s spokesperson and advisor. News24

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