Pauw, News24 journalist summoned to police station

Pieter-Louis Myburgh interviewing Jacques Pauw about his book The President's Keepers. (News24)
Pieter-Louis Myburgh interviewing Jacques Pauw about his book The President's Keepers. (News24)

Cape Town - Investigative journalists Jacques Pauw and Pieter-Louis Myburgh, who have both written about alleged corrupt relationships involving President Jacob Zuma, have been summoned to a meeting at a police station.

In a letter to their lawyer on Thursday, seen by News24, 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."

News24 editor Adriaan Basson described the approach by Govender as bizarre.

"On the advice of our lawyers, we have agreed to let Myburgh attend a meeting with Colonel Govender next week in Johannesburg," he said.

"We remain in the dark about exactly what he wants to meet Myburgh and Pauw about. It is bizarre that the national head office of the police is not aware of this case and that Govender is approaching a matter of national importance in such a cloak-and-dagger manner. We will do everything in our power to get to the bottom of this," Basson said.

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 said.

On Tuesday, national police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo told News24 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".

On Thursday evening he said the police "generally" didn't comment on such matters.

"We generally do not comment on matters that are under investigation.  Especially if suspects have not appeared in a court of law. Therefore, if there is such an investigation taking place in this matter we are not at liberty to comment," Naidoo said.

Both Pauw and Myburgh have written extensively on alleged corrupt relationships and dealings involving Zuma including the release of recent books by the two.

Pauw’s book 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 to withdraw his book.

On Wednesday, the South African National Editor’s Forum (Sanef) said it won’t stay silent as it regarded reports about the case against Pauw and Myburgh as "intimidation tactics".

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