It’s not an exaggeration to say that investigative journalist Jacques Pauw’s latest book, The President’s Keepers – Those keeping Zuma in Power and out of Prison, hailed as the biggest political exposé to hit South Africa, has “gone viral”, as the popular saying goes.
It’s a rarity in South African publishing, with coverage now extending across the world. According to NB Publishers, it is a global bestseller on Amazon and the fastest-selling book in South Africa since official Nielsen data began in 2004.
Topping the local best-seller list, with ten times as many copies sold as the next hit, it comes as no surprise that at The Book Cottage we sold out in hours.
But we are happy to report that the publisher has rushed to print more to meet the demand and that we have been promised a new shipment this week. So why this book? Perhaps it is because it finally expresses what we’ve all been feeling for too long. It joins a growing list of publications that have been released over the past couple of years that really get into the subject of Zuma’s presidency.
The first in the Book Cottage
Susan Booysen’s Dominance and Decline: the ANC in the Time of Zuma was the first, launched at The Book Cottage two years ago. Then there was When Zuma Goes by Ralph
Mathekga – what Justice Malala has called “an urgent and necessary book” – and of course The Republic of Gupta: A Story of State Capture, in which Pieter-Louis Myburgh investigates how the Guptas infiltrated power, bringing a new angle to the story of what has now become a crisis of public confidence.
While Pauw has received numerous death threats and a criminal investigation by the State Security Agency (SSA) is underway after NB Publishers refused to have the book removed from circulation, they have vowed to defend their author against any legal action.
In a press release last week, NB Publishers expressed their gratitude for the many offers
from civil-society groups for help, as well as the upwelling of support from the South
African public. Perhaps this book will go a long way to inspire the changes that we anticipate.