Investigative journalist Jacques Pauw and NB Publishers warned the State Security Agency (SSA) that should they try to prevent the further publishing and circulation of Pauw’s bestselling book about Jacob Zuma’s dirty tricks, they will seek a punitive cost order against the government agency.
Pauw and NB Publishers’ attorney, Willem de Klerk, says in a letter – which was also published on Facebook – that the State Security Agency will pay dearly if they try to stop the printing and distribution of The President’s Keepers.
Eyewitness News reports the SSA served a cease and desist order on the publishers last week, claiming that the book was “replete with inaccuracies” and contravened several laws.
The book, which has been sold out and of which thousands of PDF copies have been circulated on social media, has already entered its second print run with fresh copies expected on shelves from today (Tuesday).
De Klerk wrote to the SSA that NB Publishers will not stop making the book available or withdraw it from shelves. Pauw maintains that the information in the book is true and of “undeniable public interest” and that the publication thereof was justified and lawful.
The attorneys say that the agency claims the book is replete with inaccuracies, but doesn’t make a single reference to any part of the book containing such errors.
While the SSA makes reference of and “urgent court application”, the book has been available for more than a week and “there is simply no legal basis to try and stop its further distribution”.
The attorney said if the agency do eventually decide to go to court, the application will be vigorously opposed.