Penguin Books said yesterday it was planning to take legal action against those circulating a PDF version of the book Gangster State: Unraveling Ace Magashule's Web of Capture, penned by journalist Pieter-Louis Myburgh.

We will take legal action against individuals who are circulating pirated copies, which may include criminal complaints once we have collected all the necessary information,’ Penguin Random House said in a statement recorded on the TimesLIVE site.

The controversial book is about ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule and his alleged links to state capture in the Free State where he served as Premier. Magashule has denied any wrongdoing.

The publishing house said: ‘The distribution of the pirated copies … infringes our copyright as well as that of the author, and it is unlawful in terms of the Copyright Act of 1976.

Penguin Random House said it was unfortunate that some prominent individuals appeared to be encouraging the illegal distribution of the book. Myburgh also expressed shock at this.

It is astonishing that a senior political leader and a top legal professional are amongst those who seem to encourage the sharing of illegal copies of Gangster State on a public platform like Twitter,’ he said.

Among the people who had asked for those with the PDF version to share it, according to a tweet, was EFF leader Julius Malema.

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