‘NOT TARGETED’: Further information is being sought in the case against author Jacques Pauw relating to his book ‘The President’s Keepers’. His home was raided by the Hawks on Wednesday.​
Cape Town - Police seized author Jacques Pauw’s manuscript during a two-hour raid at his Cape Town house, sources at the elite crime-fighting unit, the Hawks, have told The Sunday Independent.

They said the officers were looking for sensitive documents that Pauw used to write his book, The President’s Keepers.

“We only seized an old manuscript of his book. He himself has said he would not keep sensitive information at home. We still had to do the search.

“We are now going to regroup with the National Prosecuting Authority, but I can tell you that the case is at an advanced stage,” said one source.

The Hawks were not targeting Pauw and the raid had been legal, he said. A warrant had been obtained before the raid.

The State Security Agency opened a case against Pauw last year after his book was published.

The agency argued that the book contained classified and sensitive information.

“There was no magistrate who was going to allow us to do a search-and-seizure without any facts.

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“It’s not something that we thumbsucked. We presented the evidence we have to a magistrate and got the go-ahead,” said the source.

“Everybody knows about the case, it was opened last year. We confirmed that the State Security Agency opened a case based on the information that’s in the book and they said it was confidential.

“We are working on that case and we are busy with investigations.”

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) officials had guided the raid, the source said, and the Hawks officers had conducted themselves professionally.

They were not targeting Pauw or trying to intimidate him, the source said.

“The NPA is leading us in this matter. They are offering guidance in terms of the investigation and the search and seizure was part of that. That doesn’t mean we did anything illegal, there was nothing illegal about it.

“Pauw himself was given a copy of the warrant and he gave it to his lawyer who confirmed it’s an authentic document. There was no fight between him and our members. We are not targeting anyone, we are just doing our job,” said the source.

Pauw confirmed that the officers had a legitimate warrant and that there was no scuffle.

“The police had an authentic search warrant. There was no violence and they were very courteous,” he said.

In an interview with African News Agency (ANA), Pauw said he was “surprised they’ve only arrived now”.

A colonel and two captains had arrived late on Wednesday afternoon to search for any “confidential information” in his possession, he said

Pauw told Eye Witness News the only items that were taken were a few insignificant papers.

“They left with a few papers. Nothing significant.

“There were no secret documents in my office. Did they really think I would keep my documentation in my office? I’ve expected a raid like this for quite some time,” he was quoted as having said.

Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi declined to say what was taken from the house, but indicated that the case was at an advanced stage.

Mulaudzi questioned the outcry that followed the raid, saying the unit was only doing its job.

“We are surprised that there is a backlash being directed to the Hawks. It is known that we have been investigating this issue. For us to come to this stage depends on the investigations and guidance we received from the NPA.

“The search-and-seizure ope- ration went very well and Mr Jacques Pauw co-operated very well. He understood why we were there.

“What is surprising is that there are a lot of people pointing fingers at us as though we are violating him personally,” Mulaudzi said.

Sunday Independent