Johannesburg - Penguin Random House, publisher of "Gangster State: Unraveling Ace Magashule's Web of Capture", has threatened legal action against those circulating the pirated version of the book on social media.

"We wish to make clear to the public that the only way to obtain an ebook legally is to buy it from an ebook retailer or to borrow it from an authorised ebook library. Any copying or distribution of a pirated ebook, or any forwarding of a link to the pirated eBook, is unlawful.

"We will take legal action against individuals who are circulating pirated copies, which may include criminal complaints once we have collected all the necessary information," the publishing house said in a statement.

Pirates are circulating the explosive book authored by journalist Pieter-Louis Myburgh in PDF version on social media platforms. The hacked version of the book went viral on Whatsapp just a few days after it was published. 

Previously, Jacques Pauw's book, "The President's Keepers: Those keeping Zuma in Power and out of Prison", also went viral on social media. Pauw discouraged book pirating, but urged those who couldn't afford to buy a copy to read the PDF version.

Myburgh's book details a damning account of alleged corruption under Magashule's premiership of the Free State. Myburgh alleges that Magashule, who is now African National Congress secretary general, captured the province while at the helm, demanding a 10 percent kickback from every provincial government tender.

African News Agency/ANA