Has Jacques Pauw been charged or not? That’s the question the country’s spooks and elite detectives could not seem to agree on yesterday.
Investigative journalist Pauw consulted his lawyer after reports that charges were laid by the State Security Agency (SSA) for disclosure of “intelligence” information in his book, The President’s Keepers.
SSA laid charges for alleged contravention of the Intelligence Service Act at the Lyttelton police station in Centurion on Wednesday. The charges related to damning information about President Jacob Zuma in the book.
SSA spokesperson Brian Dube told The Citizen yesterday: “I can confirm a charge was opened at Lyttelton police station against the author of the book in relation to contravention of certain sections of the Intelligence Services Act. This is to say certain sections of the law have been broken and an investigation should ensue and end up in court.”
But Hawks’ spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said they would not be making any arrests, as the media had speculated, because no one had yet been charged.
He confirmed they would be investigating a “possible leak” of classified information in the book.
“We are not charging him. We are only investigating allegations based on the book, as it refers to the National Strategic Intelligence Act, which no one can disclose or divulge.
“It is still early stages to talk about charges. We have to go through the main affidavit and if needs be, we will rope in the NPA [National Prosecuting Authority] to assist with investigations.”
Pauw’s book contained allegations against Zuma relating to corruption and irregularities in his tax affairs, and implicated key state agencies.
Last week, SSA served Pauw and his publisher, NP Publishers, with a “cease and desist” letter, demanding that parts of the book be retracted as it contained inaccuracies of a criminal nature.
They were given five days to comply or the spy agency would approach the high court to seek appropriate action against publication of the book, which has already sold out countrywide. – firstname.lastname@example.org