South African security services move to ban exposé of Jacob Zuma government
The South African author of an explosive book that promises to expose “the darkest secret at the heart of Jacob Zuma’s compromised government” has vowed that he is not intimidated by efforts from the country’s State Security Agency (SSA) to have the book banned from sale.
Investigative journalist Jacques Pauw’s The President’s Keepers is a study of what he calls “the people who have brought our country to the brink of a mafia state”. Moving from the Western Cape to Pretoria, Johannesburg and Russia, The President’s Keepers follows “a trail of lies and spies, cronies, cash and kingmakers as Pauw prises open the web of deceit that surrounds the fourth president of the democratic era”, says the publisher, NB.
Following publication on 29 October, the SSA served NB and Pauw with a cease and desist letter on 1 November over what it called “unlawful publication of classified information”. The letter said the book was “replete with inaccuracies” and that it “compromise[s] the security of the state”, calling on Pauw and NB to withdraw the book and retract “all those parts which are inaccurate”.
The SSA followed up last Thursday by confirming it had made a criminal complaint against Pauw. “Charges have been laid against Mr Pauw relating to the contravention of several sections of the Intelligence Services Act,” SSA spokesman Brian Dube said.
NB said it stood by Pauw, with its lawyers studying the charges. The publisher has declined to withdraw the book and Pauw has continued to hold public signings.