The President’s Keepers – Jacques Pauw
The President’s Keepers – Those keeping Zuma in power and out of prison.
Investigative journalist Jacques Pauw exposes the darkest secret at the heart of Jacob Zuma’s compromised government: a cancerous cabal that eliminates the president’s enemies and purges the law-enforcement agencies of good men and women.
As Zuma fights for his political life following the 2017 Gupta emails leak, this cabal – the president’s keepers – ensures that after years of ruinous rule, he remains in power and out of prison. But is Zuma the puppet master, or their puppet? Journey with Pauw as he explores the shadow mafia state.
From KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape to the corridors of power in Pretoria and Johannesburg – and even to clandestine meetings in Russia. It’s a trail of lies and spies, cronies, cash and kingmakers as Pauw prises open the web of deceit that surrounds the fourth president of the democratic era.
Jacques Pauw’s new book The President’s Keepers has lit up the country, with PDF versions making the rounds in case the state tries to ban the book. As well they might. It details how President Zuma avoided filing tax returns before and during his presidency, because to do so would illuminate that he was a fatally compromised man. He was and is, in fact, a kept man, receiving payments for his upkeep from some truly dodgy characters. Then, of course, Pauw details how the intelligence and other organs of government have been captured and looted. Business Day reviews the book.
There is much that is new in veteran journalist Jacques Pauw’s latest book, which hit the Amazon bestseller list last week when booksellers couldn’t keep up with the demand for print copies created by the State Security Agency’s “cease and desist” order.
There is much too that builds on details in other books and media reports that have painted a picture for two decades of ANC leaders who had committed themselves to uplifting the poor but used their positions to enrich themselves and their families at taxpayers’ expense.
The major difference between The President’s Keepers and all that has been published before is its tone. Pauw is outraged and he has infected far more people with his ire than the usually dismally small group that buys and reads books in SA. What’s new in the tale of ANC governance failures is that President Jacob Zuma was moonlighting for a security company that paid him R1m a month even after he took the highest office, that Zuma did not submit tax returns for years and that his tax liability was paid by someone else. Also new is the extent to which the State Security Agency and the police crime intelligence unit have been looted by officers — some with criminal records and many without the requisite education or training — who do nothing but protect Zuma from his political enemies.
South African journalist and author Jacques Pauw was a founder member of the anti-apartheid Afrikaans newspaper Vrye Weekblad in the late 1980s, where he exposed the Vlakplaas police death squads.
He worked for some of the country’s most esteemed publications before becoming a documentary filmmaker, producing documentaries on wars and conflicts in Rwanda, Burundi, Algeria, Liberia, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sierra Leone, among other countries.
When he left journalism in 2014, he was the head of investigations at Media24 newspapers. He has won the CNN African Journalist of the Year Award twice, the Daniel Pearl Award for Outstanding International Investigative Reporting in the US, Italy’s Ilaria Alpi and the Nat Nakasa award for bravery and integrity in journalism.
He is the author of five books: four nonfiction and one fiction. They are In the Heart of the Whore, Into the Heart of Darkness, Dances with Devils, Rat Roads and Little Ice Cream Boy. Three of his books have been shortlisted for major literary awards.
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