Johannesburg – While the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) confirmed to News24 on Friday that it has a docket in the case against investigative reporter Jacques Pauw – there is apparent confusion between the NPA and the Hawks over who currently has it in their possession.
Gauteng NPA spokesperson Phindi Louw-Mjonondwane told News24 that they were in possession of a docket against Pauw.
“Yes, it [the docket] is in the process of being referred to the Hawks with a list of investigations,” she told News24.
“The decision [to prosecute] will be taken after the investigations have been completed. They will bring back the docket for a decision,” she said.
READ: Sunday Independent editor defends paper’s probe into Jacques Pauw’s sources
Louw-Mjonondwane did not divulge what was contained in the docket, but instead referred News24 to the Hawks.
Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi said: “We are not aware of the docket that they want to refer back to us. We still have the docket, which we are not done with. We are still investigating. We don’t know what she is talking about.”
In November, the Hawks confirmed that they were investigating the leak of classified information that ended up being published in Pauw’s book The President’s Keepers.
‘There is no case against Jacques Pauw’
Pauw has written on alleged corrupt relationships and dealings involving President Jacob Zuma.
The President’s Keepers – launched in October – was not well received by the South Africa Revenue Service (SARS) and the State Security Agency (SSA), which wanted Pauw and the publishers to withdraw the book.
Mulaudzi told News24 at the time that they were investigating the “possible leakage of classified information as depicted by the National Strategic Intelligence Act”.
He said the case was opened by the SSA and that the Hawks were tasked with investigating the source of the leak.
“There is no case against Jacques Pauw,” Mulaudzi said
SSA spokesperson Brian Dube also told News24 at the time that the charges were not specifically against Pauw, but rather to investigate the whistleblowers who leaked sensitive and confidential information contained in the book.
On Thursday, Pauw and investigative journalist Pieter-Louis Myburgh, who have both written about alleged corrupt relationships involving Zuma, were summoned to a meeting at a police station, News24 reported.
‘Your clients have failed to cooperate’
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 journalists on it.
“Despite your undertakings to do so [cooperate with 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”.