The National Editors’ Forum says the raid by certain Hawks officers on acclaimed investigative journalist, Jacques Pauw’s Riebeek Kasteel home in the Swartland of the Western Cape, is nothing less than a threat to media freedom.
Pauw is the author of the book ‘The President’s Keepers’.
It alleges that then President Jacob Zuma, with the help of certain intelligence bosses, presided over the process of changing South Africa into a gangster state.
The book also claims, among other things, that Zuma has tax issues to account for.
Sanef’s Sam Mkhokheli says they intend to meet with the new Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, to discuss the raid of Pauw’s house by the Hawks.
“It’s shocking really, the kind of things we see in a democracy where the state gets abused to achieve political end. What we suspect is a few personalities have been threatened by Jaqcues Pauw and now they are abusing the system. And it does worry us because of the potential consequences for the media in dealing vigilant, independent and courageous media getting the state to crack down the truth. We see it as harassment and intimidation.”
The Hawks say they did not violate the rights of Pauw, following the raid of his home.
Sars is taking Pauw to court after accusing him of transgressing the Tax Administrations Act by disclosing confidential taxpayers’ information.
Hawks Spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi says, “Unfortunately, yesterday it was purported as if we are violating his rights but that right was granted by a magistrate and he was afforded that copy of that search warrant to which he in turn gave to his lawyer and it was found that it was in good order. He cooperated very well with the members that were there. There were a few documents that we were able to take. I don’t know the contents thereof. There is no malice intended against Pauw or anyone.”