ANC deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. PHOTO: David Ritchie/ANA PHOTO
Parliament - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday told the National Assembly he was reading investigative journalist Jacques Pauw's best-selling expose of the Zuma administration "The President's Keepers" which the State Security Agency (SSA) has sought to ban.

Responding to a question from Democratic Alliance chief whip John Steenhuisen, Ramaphosa said it was too early for him to say whether he agreed with the notion that it should be banned because he had not read far enough yet.

"I'm reading the book as well and it is possible that the honourable leader of the opposition is way ahead because I think he uses it for bed time reading.I have not had that luxury," he said.

Ramaphosa said as a result he did not think he was in a position yet to say whether it should have been banned but as a general rule he believed " you should never really muzzle the media".

Steenhuizen had asked whether Ramaphosa had agreed with the SSA's bid to force Pauw to withdraw the book. It issued a cease and desist letter to the author on November 1 and threatened to bring criminal charges against him should he ignore it.

Pauw and his publishers have said they will not withdraw the book or change any aspect of it.

The book details a web of corruption around the president, whom Ramaphosa is campaigning to succeed as leader of the African National Congress when the party holds its elective conference next month.

African News Agency