Author Jacques Pauw is off the hook when it comes to SA Revenue Service’s plans to prosecute him for information disclosed in his bestseller The President’s Keepers.
Publishers Tafelberg said on Friday (September 7 2018) that SARS had dropped its litigation against the author.
In legal correspondence to Tafelberg, acting commissioner Mark Kingon said SARS “considers this litigation unfortunate. The acting commissioner is working hard to restore the public confidence in the SARS.”
Earlier this year, SARS under former commissioner Tom Moyane filed papers in the Western Cape High Court against Pauw, saying he had published confidential tax information in the book in contravention of the Tax Administration Act.
Moyane, who has since been suspended from SARS, featured prominently in The President’s Keepers, which was published in October last year.
It is one of the biggest and fastest-selling books in South African publishing history. It disclosed, among other things, that former president Jacob Zuma “captured” the country’s law enforcement agencies to hide the fact he was not tax compliant and that he received a salary from a private company while in office.
Tafelberg was not part of Moyane’s legal action, but the publishers defended Pauw, arguing there was clear and compelling public interest in the revelations about Zuma’s tax affairs.
“We are proud to have stood by our author and the book, which brought to light important information and played a role in breaking up the Zuma cabal that has only its own interests – and not that of the country – at heart,” said NB Publishers, of which Tafelberg is an imprint. “Pauw is a respected, experienced investigative journalist, and his book was written and published with the utmost integrity.
“We are very happy that this chapter of litigation is now closed and our author is no longer under attack.”