The Hawks have confirmed that they are investigating the leak of classified information that ended up being published in Jacques Pauw’s book The President’s Keepers.
“The Hawks are investigating the possible leakage of classified information as depicted by the National Strategic Intelligence Act,” spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi told News24.
He confirmed that the case had been opened by the State Security Agency and the Hawks were now tasked with investigating the source of the leak.
“There is no case against Jacques Pauw,” Mulaudzi said.
SSA spokesperson Brian Dube explained to News24 that the charges were not specifically against Pauw, but rather to investigate the whistleblowers who leaked sensitive and confidential information contained in the book.
“There is a level of excitement. This is a beginning of a long process that will unfold,” Dube said.
Pauw’s wife Sam Rogers told News24 the investigative reporter was aware of charges, and was consulting with his lawyers on a possible way forward. This recent investigation comes in the wake of two cease and desist letters that have been sent to Pauw and NB Publishers.
The SSA is claiming that the content of the book violated the Intelligence Services Act. The SSA has threatened to approach the court for an interdict to prevent further distribution, publishing or promotion if the book was not withdrawn from store shelves.
The publishers released a statement shortly after the letters saying that they would stand behind the book.
This sparked a countrywide frenzy for the book, with copies sold out in its first week.
The launch of the book at Hyde Park Corner on Wednesday night was cancelled after a power outage.
Exclusive Books said in a statement that it was investigating the cause of the outage.
During the launch, Pauw told attendees that he expected to spend years fighting the SSA in the court.
The Pretoria book launch is expected to be held on Thursday night. – News24