Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

SSA boss demands retraction from Jacques Pauw, seeks legal advice

The family of State Security Agency director general Arthur Fraser has demanded that author Jacques Pauw retract his book, The President’s Keepers.

The Fraser family is in the process of seeking legal advice. In a statement, the family said Pauw committed the “classic journalistic deception” of not allowing facts to get in the way of a good story.

“In his enthusiasm to influence ruling party politics and the 2019 general election, Pauw has allowed himself to be manipulated by an apartheid spy/ double agent, who has scores to settle – and is now hiding out in Russia.

“This is the man on whom Pauw largely relies for ‘evidence’ about the Fraser family contained in his book.”

Pauw has received a cease and desist letter from the State Security Agency, demanding that he withdraw his book and retract certain parts of it.

Fraser said the book included “a number of scurrilous and patently false allegations about the family, which has a distinguished record in South Africa’s struggle for democracy, equality and justice”.

“The author’s allegation that a Fraser sister was married to all-powerful intelligence officer, Graham Engel, is false.

‘Hurtful and malicious’
The contention that Barry Fraser was the director of a company and NGO that benefited from an alleged intelligence operation dubbed PAN is untrue.

“The statement that 83-year-old Mrs CF Fraser is a PAN agent would be laughable if it wasn’t so hurtful and malicious. These ‘facts’ and others in the book are in fact lies.”

Fraser said with South Africa’s political climate “as it is – in a global environment of fake news – journalists have more responsibility than ever to maintain critical distance from their subjects and check their facts before rushing into print. Failure to do so renders them political pawns.” 

He said the Fraser family supported the principle of a free press, holding government to account and contributing to the fight against corruption and abuses of power and or state resources.

“The principle does not extend to the right to slander people. Pauw has unjustly accused the Fraser family of criminal activity. The family is briefing lawyers this week to set the record straight,” he said.

Pauw was not immediately available for comment. However, he previously said that he stood by the allegations contained in his book. – News24

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

‘The children cannot cope any more’: Suicide in Calvinia highlights...

How Covid-19 has intensified the physical and emotional burdens placed on children’s shoulders.

Capitec Bank flies high above Viceroy’s arrow

The bank took a knock after being labelled a loan shark by the short seller, but this has not stymied its growth

More top stories

Covid-19: No vaccine booster shots needed yet

Scientists agree it is important to get most of the population vaccinated before giving booster jabs

The convenient myth of an Africa spared from Covid-19

There are few, if any, studies to support Pfizer chief executive’s assertion that the global south would be more vaccine-hesitant than the north

Council wants Hawks, SIU probe into BAT’s Zimbabwe scandal

The cigarette maker has been accused of giving up to $500 000 in bribes and spying on competitors
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×