Hard-hit­ting ex­posé has Zuma ‘shaken’

Pretoria News Weekend - - FRONT PAGE - QUIN­TON MTYALA AND SIYABONGA MKHWANAZI

AU­THOR Jacques Pauw says he will de­fend his book All the Pres­i­dent’s Keep­ers in court.

This fol­lows a cease and de­sist let­ter that he and his pub­lisher re­ceived from the State Se­cu­rity Agency (SSA) and threats of le­gal ac­tion by the SA Rev­enue Ser­vice (Sars) over a “breach of con­fi­den­tial tax­payer in­for­ma­tion”.

The book al­leges that Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma did not file his tax re­turns to Sars for the first four years of his pres­i­dency, and that he had also re­ceived a R1 mil­lion a month salary for sev­eral months in 2009 with­out declar­ing this to the tax au­thor­i­ties.

In the book, it’s claimed that Sars com­mis­sioner Tom Moy­ane was shield­ing Zuma from his tax obli­ga­tions over the fringe ben­e­fits he had ac­crued when pub­lic money was used to ren­o­vate his pri­vate home­stead at Nkandla.

Pauw’s book, with its ex­plo­sive claims, was pub­lished on Sun­day with an ex­tract lead­ing the Sun­day Times.

But on Wed­nes­day, the SSA sent the let­ter to Pauw and his pub­lisher NB Books, whose im­print Tafel­berg pub­lished the work, stat­ing that the con­tents were in vi­o­la­tion of the In­tel­li­gence Ser­vice Act of 2002 be­cause it con­tained an in­ter­view with for­mer SSA spy Paul En­gelke.

Yes­ter­day, Sars said it was “deeply con­cerned” about the pub­li­ca­tion of tax­payer in­for­ma­tion, which it said was in con­tra­ven­tion of the Tax Ad­min­is­tra­tion Act (TAA) of 2011.

Speak­ing to In­de­pen­dent Me­dia yes­ter­day, Pauw said be­fore the book was pub­lished he and his pub­lisher took ex­ten­sive le­gal ad­vice.

“I ex­pected them (SSA and Sars) to re­act sooner, (in­stead) it took them five days,” said Pauw.

In the cease and de­sist let­ter sent by Kgoroeadira Mu­dau Inc, it was claimed that the book was “re­plete with in­ac­cu­ra­cies” and con­tained “fake in­for­ma­tion” for which Pauw and his pub­lisher would be held ac­count­able.

But Pauw said he could only break the In­tel­li­gence Ser­vice Act if the in­for­ma­tion that he had pub­lished was true.

“Sars and the SSA need to make up their minds,” said Pauw.

In­stead, he said, it was quite clear that the SSA were “fast asleep”, tak­ing ac­tion now when the book was al­ready in stores.

The cease and de­sist let­ter states that En­gelke had dis­closed clas­si­fied in­for­ma­tion to Pauw with­out the per­mis­sion of SSA di­rec­tor-gen­eral Arthur Fraser.

“We will ar­gue that we are legally in pos­ses­sion of ma­te­ri­als and we have not bro­ken any laws,” said Pauw.

On Zuma’s tax af­fairs, and his com­ments in the Na­tional Assem­bly on Thurs­day, Pauw said: “It’s very in­ter­est­ing what he said – he hasn’t re­ceived any pay­ments with­out declar­ing it.

“Up to 2014, Zuma had not de­clared his tax re­turns. It needs to be in­ves­ti­gated. It’s not the first time that Zuma has lied in Par­lia­ment,” said Pauw.

Yes­ter­day, the Right 2 Know cam­paign and op­po­si­tion par­ties slammed threats against Pauw and his pub­lisher by the SSA and Sars.

They all de­scribed the let­ter from SAA as a threat against Pauw and the me­dia in gen­eral.

R2K said it also noted an­other threat by Sars to take the au­thor to court.

“R2K views th­ese as crude acts of cen­sor­ship, aimed at in­tim­i­dat­ing in­ves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ists and pro­tect­ing the cor­rupt and pow­er­ful,” said R2K.

The DA, IFP and African Chris­tian Demo­cratic Party also warned of threats against jour­nal­ists.

DA Di­rec­tor of Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Mabine Se­abe said it was clear that Zuma has been shaken by the book.

“It’s quite clear that this book has shaken Pres­i­dent Zuma and his in­ner cir­cle. Where in a democ­racy have you heard se­curo­crats say what must be pub­lished and not pub­lished,” said Se­abe.

He said if Zuma has is­sues with the book he must go to court.

ACDP leader Ken­neth Meshoe also said this was an in­tim­i­da­tion tac­tic against the me­dia.

“It’s an­other way to in­tim­i­date jour­nal­ists and pro­tect peo­ple who are im­pli­cated. What Jacques Pauw should say is ‘let us meet in court’. Jour­nal­ists in South Africa should not be in­tim­i­dated for ex­pos­ing cor­rup­tion,” he said.

“We want jour­nal­ists to ex­pose any­thing that is cor­rup­tion be­cause peo­ple in South Africa are tired of cor­rup­tion,” said Meshoe.

IFP chief whip in Par­lia­ment Narend Singh said this was a le­gal process and af­ter Zuma’s re­ply in the Na­tional Assem­bly this week he hinted at le­gal ac­tion.

PIC­TURE: AYANDA NDAMANE/ANA

Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma gets an­i­mated in Par­lia­ment on Thurs­day.

PIC­TURE: RA­JESH JANTILAL

A staff mem­ber at the Gate­way Ex­clu­sive Books sets the shelf with the re­lease of the ex­plo­sive new book, The Pres­i­dent’s Keep­ers by jour­nal­ist and au­thor Jacques Pauw.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.