SSA confirms case opened over Jacques Pauw book

Jacques Pauw's book contains allegations against President Jacob Zuma relating to corruption and irregularities with his tax affairs.

Investigative journalist Jacques Pauw at the official presentation of his latest book 'The President's Keepers' in Johannesburg on 8 November 2017. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The State Security Agency (SSA) confirmed a case has been opened relating to possibly classified information in investigative journalist Jacques Pauw's new book.

Pauw's book, The President's Keepers, contains allegations against President Jacob Zuma relating to corruption and irregularities in his tax affairs and has already been sold out at several stores across the country.

The SSA issued Pauw and his publisher with a cease and desist letter, demanding that certain parts of the book be retracted, saying the book is replete with inaccuracies.

On Wednesday, another letter was sent to the editor of the book and a case was opened at the Lyttleton Police Station in Pretoria.

State security's Brian Dube said: “The charges relate to the contravention of certain sections of the Intelligence Services Act. The normal cause of investigation will follow and the matter will then be debated in court.”

SSA and the South African Revenue Service had threatened to take legal action, saying that there's been a violation of statutory provisions.

The Hawks have confirmed a case has been opened by SSA in connection with Pauw's book, but no charges have been laid.

The Hawks Hangwani Mulaudzi says they are now investigating.

“Our serious organised crime unit is now investigating those allegations and no charges, or no person has been fingered in this investigation.

“This is in reference to the National Strategic Intelligence Act, the act stipulates clearly that no person is allowed to disclose, divulge, leak classified information.”

The Hawks say charges will only be laid over The President’s Keepers when their investigation into a possible leak of classified information has been completed.

At this stage, no charges have been laid against any individual.

Two cases were opened by the security agency but the contents of both cases are the same, so only one docket will be investigated.

Pauw is meeting with his lawyers about the matter and may comment further at the Pretoria leg of his book launch in Brooklyn on Thursday evening.