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Journo Pieter-Louis Myburgh questions timing of break-in at home

The News24 investigative journalist says he was alerted by his neighbour that there was a forced entry to his premises.

FILE: Investigative reporter and author Pieter-Louis Myburgh. Picture: LinkedIn

JOHANNESBURG/CAPE TOWN - _News24 _investigative journalist Pieter-Louis Myburgh has described as questionable and strange the timing of a break-in at his house on Wednesday.

Myburgh says he was alerted by his neighbour that there was a forced entry to his premises.

Durban-based police Colonel Reuben Govender summoned Myburgh to a police station to answer questions over the contents of his book The Republic of Gupta.

He says he learnt of the burglary around the same time that the Hawks were raiding investigative journalist Jacques Pauw’s house.

“I can’t conclusively say that I’ve also become a victim of some sort of an orchestrated raid by the security apparatus, but on the other hand, the sequence of events certainly is strange.”

Myburgh's editor, Adriaan Basson, says that at this stage there is no inidication that this was a sinister buglery, or linked in any way to what happened at Pauw's house. Basson says they are investigating all the circumstances around what happened to Myburgh and are working closely with police.

HAWKS RAID

Pauw says he co-operated with the Hawks after they raided his guesthouse in Riebeek-Kasteel outside Cape Town.

The Hawks obtained a warrant from a magistrate at the Malmesbury Court on Wednesday after a case was opened by the State Security Agency, based on allegations Pauw made in his book The President’s Keepers.

Officials were looking for any documents related to an alleged violation of the National Strategic Intelligence Act.

Pauw says three officials from the Hawks’ crime against the state unity arrived at his home in Riebeek-Kasteel looking for secret state security files as part of their investigation.

Pauw says he’s surprised that the officials only arrived now as it has been months since his book, _The President's _Keepers was released.

“I expected something like this shortly after I published my book, not in February 2018 after Cyril Ramaphosa became the president.”

The author says the search and seizure were outrageous.

“It’s outrageous that the Hawks can come to a private residence of a journalist and search his office for official documents.”

Pauw says the only thing taken during the search were a few insignificant papers.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)