Police Minister Fikile Mbalula said that the State Security Agency (SSA) was right in its attempts to stop the publication Jacques Pauw's book, "The President's Keepers", and added that journalists could not undermine the authority of a state.
"Journalists must know that classified information is classified information, and the rule of law must apply"Fikile Mbalula
Mbalula, who was speaking on the sidelines of the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) Conference in Pretoria on Sunday, said the SSA had every right to take on Pauw's book. The SSA is of the view that the book is in contravention of the Intelligence Services Act.
"We can't allow people to undermine the authority of the state"
"It is within the right of SSA to take him [Jacques Pauw] on, on the matters, if ever he published classified information. If there are classified issues, they must be attended to".
"We can't allow people to undermine the authority of the state, including things that are classified."
It emerged on Friday that the SSA had issued the book's publishers a cease-and-desist letter demanding that they withdraw the book from stores and retract parts of the book.
The SSA is also threatening criminal charges.
This comes after an earlier statement by the South African Revenue Service, which said it was seeking legal advice on what steps to take in establishing criminal and civil investigations into Pauw and the Sunday Times and the circumstances pertaining to the "unlawful disclosure" of "confidential taxpayer information".