Sunday Independent editor defends paper's probe into Jacques Pauw's sources

2017-12-08 14:53
Jacques Pauw's book, The President's Keepers.

Jacques Pauw's book, The President's Keepers.

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Johannesburg – Sunday Independent editor Steve Motale has defended a planned story to reveal details about alleged high-profile sources that investigative reporter Jacques Pauw apparently used in his book The President’s Keepers.

Emails from the publication to those alleged sources - which include former finance minister Pravin Gordhan, former intelligence head, Moe Shaik and former SARS officials Ivan Pillay and Johann van Loggerenberg - detail questions around their relationship with Pauw, and what information they apparently gave him.

"Listen here, those questions were sent to specific people. They were not meant for you. That is my comment," Motale told News24 in a telephonic interview on Friday morning.

He refused to answer questions on whether revealing sources would backfire on him and what he would do if he was forced to reveal his own sources.

He persistently said: "I am doing my job."

Pauw wrote on his Facebook page on Thursday that people should expect to be "highly entertained" by Motale on Sunday.

He said he had received an email communication from Motale, who intended to write a story on his book.

Motale said they were allegations that Pauw had meetings with the three prior the release of his book.

"This information has obviously been planted on Motale and the poor man must now make an exposé out of it," Pauw said.

"If this is [the] best that state security, crime intelligence, SARS and the Hawks can come up with after nearly six weeks of investigation, they have absolutely no idea where the information for this book came from."

'Sensitive' matter

But Motale hit back and said the questions had been sent in confidence to specific people.

"As usual, they are always conniving with white-owned media. You people are being used to fight the political battle. I am not fighting a political battle here, I am just doing my job.

"As usual, when I sent them questions they always know where to run to – Media24. It is one of their safest places to run to whenever questions are sent to them," he said.

Pauw has written on alleged corrupt relationships and dealings involving President Jacob Zuma.

The President's Keepers, which was launched in October, was not well received by the South Africa Revenue Service (SARS) and the State Security Agency (SSA), who wanted Pauw and the publishers to withdraw the book.

Pauw and News24 investigative journalist Pieter-Louis Myburgh, who have both written about alleged corrupt relationships involving Zuma, have been summoned to a meeting at a police station, News24 reported on Thursday.

Read: Pauw, News24 journalist summoned to police station

News24 has seen a letter to their lawyers in which the cluster detective coordinator of eThekwini Outer North - a Colonel "R Govender" - stated that the pair had been uncooperative.

"The tone of your letter is indicative that you have no intention to cooperate with the police. In your previous emails to our office, you promised [to] tender your full cooperation to the police."

The letter to their lawyer was headlined "criminal investigations" and had the names of both reporters on it.

"Despite your undertakings to do so (cooperate in the investigation) your clients have failed to cooperate and I will have to resort to the necessary legal avenues unless they present themselves to me at my offices at Durban North Police Station or a police station close to the airport in Johannesburg," the letter read. 

National police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo told News24 on Tuesday that no case had been opened against the two, but on Wednesday he said he wouldn’t be able to discuss the matter "in the public domain" because of its "sensitive nature".

Read more on:    sunday independent  |  jacques pauw  |  steve motale  |  the president's keepers  |  media

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