“Pauw has unjustly accused the Fraser family of criminal activity. The family is briefing lawyers this week to set the record straight,” said the Frasers. In his book, Jacques Pauw commits the classic journalistic deception of not allowing facts to get in the way of a good story.
“In his enthusiasm to influence ruling party politics and the 2019 general elections, Pauw has allowed himself to be manipulated by an apartheid spy/double agent who has scores to settle – and is now hiding out in Russia.
“This is the man on whom Pauw largely relies for ‘evidence’ about the Fraser family contained in his book. Arthur Fraser is presently the director-general of the State Security Agency; matters relating to the State Security Agency are for the state to answer.”
Their statement comes as the agency tried to pull Pauw’s book off the shelves, which the Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI) said amounts to censorship. Dubbing the allegations as “false”, the family highlighted its “distinguished record in South Africa’s struggle for democracy, equality and justice”.
They charged that “lies” in the book included:
- Pauw’s allegation that a Fraser sister was married to “all powerful” intelligence officer Graham Engel;
- The contention that Barry Fraser was the director of a company and NGO that benefited from an alleged intelligence operation dubbed PAN.
- The statement that 83-year old Mrs CF Fraser is a PAN agent which they said “would be laughable, if it wasn’t so hurtful and malicious”.
“These ‘facts’ and others in the book are, in fact, lies. With South Africa’s political climate as it is – in a global environment of fake news – journalists have more responsibility than ever to maintain critical distance from their subjects and check their facts before rushing into print. Failure to do
so renders them political pawns.”
The FXI, meanwhile, said any act that aims to suppress the free flow of information or expression amounts to censorship.
“It is important for South African citizens to have access to a multiplicity of viewpoints and perspectives especially in the build up to the 2019 elections,” it said.