ANC secretary general Ace Magashule. File photo: ANA/Itumeleng English

Johannesburg - The publishers of Pieter-Louis Myburgh's book Gangster State - Unravelling Ace Magashule’s Web of Capture have vowed not to "buckle under political pressure" and withdraw the book amid criticism from the ANC. 

This comes after the ANC released a strongly-worded statement in reaction to the investigative journalist's new book, released on Sunday, which links Magashule to state capture and looting in the Free State government.

The Sunday Times and City Press carried special reports on the book, fingering the former Free State premier in allegations of theft, corruption and gangsterism.

The ANC slammed these reports, saying it was fake news and a "clearly well-coordinated media attack" on Magashule.

Penguin Random House in a statement on Tuesday said it noted the ANC’s press statement.

"That there has been no attempt to substantively refute the allegations in the book speaks volumes. The ANC has recently stated that it will act in the public interest, and hold leaders who loot accountable for their actions. This is a chance to turn words into deeds.
 
"We further note Magashule’s threats to pursue legal action over the contents of the book. We will oppose any legal action that seeks to hide essential facts from South Africans about how our government is really being run."

Penguin further said: "It is important that individuals and organisations are not intimidated by powerful people with deep pockets who cannot tolerate these truths being laid bare.
 
"Whatever the ANC and Magashule decide, Penguin Random House stands by the book and its author. Gangster State was meticulously researched and thoroughly checked by our legal team. The book tells an important part of the state capture story clearly and compellingly. We will not withdraw it – or any of its contents – under political pressure."

Myburgh also stood by his book, saying he was in possession of documents to substantiate the damning allegations linking Magashule to dodgy dealings with business people who worked with the Free State government.

IOL