JOHANNESBURG - One of South Africa's most influential newspapers accused a top presidential spokesman on Friday of censoring an article about his possible involvement in a shady arms deal.
The incident could prove to be a further embarrassment to President Jacob Zuma who in recent weeks sacked two ministers found as corrupt in government reports and is also facing renewed calls to account for his actions in the same arms deal.
The weekly Mail & Guardian said it received a letter from presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj saying it could face prosecution if it published an article disclosing details of a police probe into the arms deal from about a decade ago that has led to convictions of other government officials for bribery.
The paper said Maharaj was also implicated. Contents of the article relating to the probe were blacked out by the weekly, known for its investigative reports that have embarrassed Zuma and his ruling African National Congress.
Maharaj said in a statement dated on Thursday that his attorney informed the paper it had acquired documents unlawfully.