The publisher of The President’s Keepers has appealed to South Africans not to take advantage of a “pirated and hacked” PDF copy of the book doing the rounds on social media.
The leak comes as fears grow the book may be “banned” after the State Security Agency issued a cease and desist letter to NB Publishers.
The spy agency has accused the author‚ Jacques Pauw‚ the publishers and the Sunday Times‚ who printed extracts of the book last weekend‚ of compromising state security and has threatened legal action if the book is not recalled.
The book reveals shocking details of President Jacob Zuma’s tax matters and also explains how director general of the SSA Arthur Fraser was complicit in the looting of more than R1-billion from the Principle Agent Network slush fund.
Zuma‚ the book explains‚ did not submit his tax returns for years.
The Presidency issued a statement earlier this week saying the president’s tax affairs were in order and denied that he had received undeclared funds.
“A pirated‚ hacked copy of The President’s Keepers is being shared on social media. As NB Publishers‚ the publisher of Pauw’s important book‚ we understand that many South Africans are doing this innocently‚ believing it to be a protest against the State Security Agency’s attempt to have the book withdrawn‚” NB Publishers said in a statement on Saturday.
“We assure the public the book is not banned and we are printing more to meet the overwhelming demand and working to get them to the shops as soon as possible.”
“We are also fighting the attempt to have this book withdrawn.”
The statement continues‚ saying that the piracy was hurting the author who has put “everything on the line” to bring the truth to light.
“It also hurts the publishing industry‚ and is illegal. The author and NB Publishers have taken huge risks to bring this important investigative work out into the open. So please read it‚ but also do the right thing‚ and please pay for it.”
One of the retailers who stock the book‚ Exclusive Books‚ took to Twitter on Friday to dispel rumours the book was being taken off the shelves‚ adding it stood by the author and the publisher.
The book is still available for purchase through online retailers.