Johannesburg - Investigative journalist Jacques Pauw and his publisher were on Friday hit with a cease and desist letter from the State Security Agency (SSA), over his recently-released book on President Jacob Zuma.
This after Pauw penned the explosive "The President's Keepers – Those keeping Zuma in power and out of prison", which exposes, among others, an alleged plot by Zuma to quash his massive R63 million tax bill, his failure to submit his tax returns during at least the first five years of his presidency, and how Zuma kept receiving a secret monthly pay cheque from a friend despite being paid by the State as president.
The book also revealed how millions of rands were deposited into the accounts of fake spies and how Zuma manipulated state institutions such as the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) as well as the Hawks.
Zuma has since denied he'd received any payments businessman Roy Moodley's company during his Question-and-Answer session in parliament.
South African Revenue Services (SARS) has also announced it was considering taking criminal and civil action against Pauw and the Sunday Times newspaper following the exposé.
The agency wrote to Pauw and NB Publishers, demanding that the book be with withdrawn and that certain parts be retracted.
"While we do not wish to traverse each and every part of the book which is of concern to our client, as these are too many, we record that the book contains parts that are in contravention of the Intelligence Service Act, Act 65 of 2002."
"While our client notes the inaccuracies contained in the book, it is more concerned with those parts which are of a criminal nature and constitute a violation of the relevant intelligence statutes and thus compromise the security of the State."
The agency then lists sections of concern to the agency, including the inclusion of conversations with former agency member Paul Engelke, the revealing of identities of members and sources of the agency and the mentioning of intelligence collection methods used for intelligence gathering, among other things.
Pauw and NB Publishers were then ordered to cease and desist making the book available to the public and publishers, withdraw it from retailers and retract the inaccurate parts.
Failure to do so, the agency said, could result in an interdict against the the duo to prevent them from "further distribution, further printing, publishing or promotion of the book".
"[Or] institute criminal charges against you and any other individual concerned in relation to those parts of the book which are in violation of the relevant statutes," the letter said.
Pauw and NB Publishers were given five days following receipt of the agency's letter to comply with the demands.