Jacques Pauw, South Africa’s most celebrated investigative author. The President’s Keepers: Those Keeping Zuma in power and out of prison. Jacques’ book was released Friday, November 3, 2017, and sold out the first print run of 20,000 copies in hours. The African National Congress (ANC), the ruling government party in South Africa fought to have the book banned. Additional copies were printed, and illegal copies are available in PDF format on the internet. Jacques has had death threats made on his life as he features in numerous TV, radio, and print media interviews. The ANC is a cANCer to the South African economy. The book sets out the degree of corruption taking place in the country while destroying the economy to the detriment of the poor masses who blindly and ignorantly support the corrupt government.
Linda, Wally, Vicky Emslie, and I were fortunate to meet Jacques Pauw briefly at his restaurant the Red Tin Roof in Riebeeck Kasteel in the Western Cape, South Africa on Saturday, November 11, 2017. Jacques only had a few moments to talk to us as he was on his way to meet his wife Sam Rodgers at the airport.
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? We 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 prizes open the web of deceit that surrounds the fourth president of the democratic era.
Jacques Pauw is a South African investigative journalist who was an executive producer of the Special Assignment current affairs program on SABC (South African Broadcasting Corporation). Pauw was a founder member and assistant editor of the anti-apartheid Afrikaans newspaper Vrye Weekblad (free weekly newspaper). He began his television career in 1994, specializing in documentaries around the African continent.
Throughout his journalistic career, Pauw has investigated lethal criminal activities in the underworld of southern Africa and exposed atrocities committed by governments around the African continent. Affairs covered by Pauw’s documentaries include the Rwandan Genocide, the War in Darfur, and the police death squads in South Africa under apartheid.
The book details the creation and functioning of a “shadow mafia state” created by and surrounding President Zuma. It makes a number of serious allegations concerning the South African president such as that he did not pay taxes during his presidency, that he was illegally paid R1 million (US$70,000) a month by a private company whilst president, that he failed to pay back loans and that he has poor financial acumen.
The book also makes a number of accusations concerning associates of the president, such as: that the Gupta family groomed the children of African National Congress (ANC) politicians to gain political influence; that Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s 2017 campaign for ANC president is funded by a cigarette company engaged in corruption; and that a significant proportion of people appointed to power by the Zuma administration have been convicted, or have allegations against them, of engaging in criminal activity. It also contains details of the state capture of the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and the wasteful creation of a one billion rand (around US$ 70,000,000) spy agency within the State Security Agency that engaged in widespread corruption.
Within four days of the book’s publication, it was cited in Parliamentary questions directed at the president by the opposition Democratic Alliance. On 3 November 2017, the State Security Agency issued a cease and desist order to prevent more books from being sold, arguing that the book contravened the Intelligence Service Act. SARS also stated that they would investigate initiating criminal charges against the author for publicizing confidential tax records. The actions by the State Security Agency and SARS were criticized as censorship by the civil society organizations the Right2Know Campaign and Corruption Watch as well as by the South African Communist Party. Book stores and publishers refused to obey the cease-and-desist order arguing that the book was factual, and its information was in the public interest.
The threat of censorship caused a spike in sales of the book causing it to sell out of its first print run of 20,000 books within 24 hours of the State Security Agency’s cease and desist order as readers sought to get a copy before it was banned, making the book an international bestseller. The resulting shortage of books combined with the public fear of censorship resulted in a digitally pirated version of the book being widely shared in the few days following the cease-and-desist order. The launch of the book on the evening of Wednesday 8 November 2017 was canceled after a power outage. During the launch, Pauw told attendees that he expected to spend years fighting legal battles.
Following its publication, the author, Jacques Pauw, stated that he had received death threats from anonymous sources.
It was during a wet and wintery morning in Riebeek Kasteel that two middle-aged journalists decided to forego their steady incomes, a Cape Town flat on the ocean, and an 1837 country house in the charming village of Riebeek Kasteel to pursue a life-long dream: running their own guest house, restaurant, and bar.
Jacques Pauw and Sam Rogers were amongst the most prominent journalists in South Africa. They have between them won the CNN African Journalist of the Year award four times. Sam has worked for some of the most prolific television networks in places such as Hong Kong and Japan and was the head of E-TV’s crime and investigations documentary unit when she resigned.
Jacques has been a journalist for 30 years and has, amongst others, exposed police death squad commander Eugene de Kock and crisscrossed the African continent in search of child soldiers and warlords. He has received some of the most coveted journalism awards in the world and is the author of five books.
Have these ventures equipped them in any way for the hospitality industry? Not nearly enough, they admit. That’s why Sam scampered off to UCT to do a diploma in the hospitality industry and Jacques lured chef Sonia Cabano to Riebeek Kasteel to help him to set up the kitchen. They have employed some of the best local talents to help them launch Red Tin Roof. For both, this is the ultimate challenge; the greatest adventure of them all.
Jacques’s home was raided by the Hawks in February 2018, a move seen to attempt to intimidate Jacques. The Hawks are South Africa’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI), which targets organized crime, economic crime, corruption, and other serious crime referred to it by the President of the South African Police Service (SAPS).