JOHANNESBURG — Shortly after it emerged on Friday that SARS is mulling launching legal action against Jacques Pauw over his new book, ‘The President’s Keepers; the publishers of the book announced that the State Security Agency (SSA) has issued them with a ‘cease and desist’ letter. The SSA is warning Pauw and Media24’s NB Publishers that parts of the book need to essentially be censored and that sales of the book be halted. The horse, though, has already bolted with plenty digital and physical copies of the book having already been sold. Also, we don’t live a country where information is readily censored, especially if it is deemed to be of public interest. It’s unclear then, at this stage, if the SSA’s concerns are genuinely valid – but a court case may air all the dirty laundry – if it gets to that point. – Gareth van Zyl
Next the State Security Agency will probably say that all 20,000 who bought Pauw's book have a week to hand it in or face possible jail time
— Jacques Maree (@JacquesMaree73) November 3, 2017
Press Release from NB Publishers:
NB Publishers, the publishers of The President’s Keepers by Jacques Pauw, has received a cease-and-
desist letter from the State Security Agency (SSA) demanding that we withdraw the book from the stores and retract parts of the book.
The SSA is further threatening to go to court to get an “interdict preventing [NB Publishers] from further distribution, further printing, publishing or promotion of the book” should we not withdraw it from the book shops, and “institute criminal charges against you and any other individual concerned in relation to those parts of the book which are in violation of the relevant statutes.”
The SSA says in the lawyer’s letter, sent this week, that: “… we record that the book contains parts that are in contravention of the Intelligence Service Act, Act 65 of 2002”.
“As our client is constitutionally mandated to ensure the security of the State and protect the identity of its members and agents, it has a duty to act in instances where such security is breached either by disclosure of its legitimate operational methods, classified documents, as well as the identity of its agents,” says the letter.
This follows the publication of Jacques Pauw’s explosive new book, The President’s Keepers, by Tafelberg, an imprint of NB Publishers, on 29 October 2017.
In the book, the highly respected journalist and author Pauw – who exposed the apartheid-era Vlakplaas death squads when he worked for the anti-apartheid Vrye Weekblad newspaper – blows the lid off South Africa’s gangster state. The President’s Keepers exposes how millions of rands of tax payers’ money flowed into the bank accounts of bogus spies among other stunning revelations about President Jacob Zuma’s compromised government and dirty tricks in SA’s law-enforcement agencies.
NB Publishers stands by our author, Jacques Pauw, and the book, The President’s Keepers. Our attorney will respond to the SSA’s letter.
Cease & Desist letter
SaveSA condemns suppression of book about Zuma
The Save South Africa campaign strongly condemns attempts by the State Security Agency (SSA) and the South African Revenue Service (SARS) to suppress details of President Jacob Zuma’s financial affairs, as provided in Jacques Pauw’s book, The Presidents’ Keepers – Those keeping Zuma in power and out of prison.
Once our government starts “banning” books and acting against authors, we are on a slippery, apartheid-style slope to full-blown censorship, the suppression of freedom of expression, and the violation of our Constitution.
We will fight this tooth and nail.
There are other, less draconian options open to the new-era security police if they believe there are errors in Pauw’s book. They should use the courts of law if they feel the book poses a threat to state security, and argue their case in public rather than issuing “cease and desist” letters.
The same applies to SARS. If it is truly concerned about tax compliance, it should be investigating the details of Zuma’s tax evasion contained in Pauw’s book – rather than trying to persecute the people who may have disclosed his many financial flaws and crimes.
It has not escaped us, however, that SARS has inadvertently confirmed the veracity of Pauw’s information by threatening to act against him. Why else would they threaten to prosecute the publisher of tax information if that information is not, in fact, authentic?
As South Africans, we have a right to know who our President is financially beholden to, how he manages his financial affairs, and how he handles his financial responsibilities. Because if Shabir Shaik’s trial taught us one thing, it is that money is one of a multitude of Zuma weak-spots, and an area of his life that needs the utmost scrutiny and transparency.
Cracking down on the truth is symptomatic of a President under siege – a President who has been caught with his hands in the cookie jar more often than we can remember, and who believes it is better to try and squash the truth about stealing than to stop stealing.
The President and his lackeys always try to keep the nation in the dark about his criminal conduct. After all, this is the same President who is trying to block a Judicial Commisioner of Enquiry into state capture, at the same time as State Security agents are trying to take this book off the shelves.
The Save South Africa campaign calls for vigilance among all those who cherish our constitution and the right to freedom of expression.
And we call on all who care about democracy to recognize that this latest action by the SSA, clearly sanctioned by the President, could be just the beginning of a concerted attack – a crackdown, even — on Zuma’s ever-growing list of critics.