Lawyer for Jacques Pauw, News24 journalist demands full disclosure on probe

Cape Town - The legal team for investigative journalists Jacques Pauw and Pieter-Louis Myburgh has demanded full disclosure from the police on the nature of their investigation against the pair, as well as apparent attempts to secure warrants of arrest against them.

The letter, sent on Monday, also demanded a written undertaking that police officials would not arrest the pair but first inform their lawyers in writing "if and when our clients are expected to appear in any court, which appearance will be facilitated by our offices".

The police had until noon on Tuesday to respond. The men would not go ahead with a meeting with police on Tuesday until these guarantees could be put in place.

Acting KwaZulu-Natal police commissioner, Major General Bheki Langa, and provincial director of public prosecutions, Adv Moipone Noko, were copied in on the letter "for their information and possible intervention".

Both Pauw and Myburgh, who is a News24 investigative journalist, have written extensively on alleged corrupt relationships and dealings involving Zuma, including the release of recent books by the two.

Last week, the men were summoned to a meeting at a police station.


At the time, Cluster Detective coordinator of Ethekwini Outer North, a Colonel 'R Govender' stated in a letter to their lawyer that they had been uncooperative.

Lawyer Willem de Klerk said in the letter on Monday that there was now a demand for the men to "present themselves" at Govender's office at the Durban North police station later this week.

"At no point in any of your communications with the writer have you informed us that our clients’ presence is required for a court appearance. Instead, you have made it clear that you merely seek to interview our clients in the course of an investigation you are conducting," De Klerk placed on record.

"You have however refused to disclose any details of the investigation you are apparently conducting. You have not informed us of the identity of the complainant; the nature of the charges; or the relevant police case numbers assigned to the matter."

De Klerk said it was unclear why Govender continued to insist on interviewing them.

"Our clients, therefore, believe that you intend to have them both arrested and that your demand for a meeting at your offices in Durban is made with an ulterior purpose in order to facilitate such an arrest."

The men, he said, had repeatedly pledged their cooperation in the event of them being required to appear in court, without the need for an arrest.

"Under the circumstances, any arrest of our clients will be malicious and unlawful."

The letter demanded information about the complainant(s), details of the charges being investigated, police case numbers, and whether any decision had been taken by the National Prosecuting Authority on the prosecution of the men.

The letter also demanded full disclosure on alleged attempts by Govender to secure warrants of arrests, whether the men's previous letter was placed before any magistrate in this regard, and confirmation on whether these warrants were obtained.

"Should you fail or refuse to make the above disclosures and/or to provide the undertaking demanded, our clients will seek appropriate legal remedies."

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