Short report

The Turd Force are scared Pauw's book will break open the sewer

10 November 2017 - 14:04 By Tom Eaton
BOOK LAUNCH OF THE YEAR Author Jacques Pauw (in striped shirt) prior to the official launch of his book 'The President's Keepers' at Exclusive Books in Hyde Park, Johannesburg, on Wednesday night. A power outage ended the launch early.
BOOK LAUNCH OF THE YEAR Author Jacques Pauw (in striped shirt) prior to the official launch of his book 'The President's Keepers' at Exclusive Books in Hyde Park, Johannesburg, on Wednesday night. A power outage ended the launch early.
Image: Alon Skuy

The truth‚ they say‚ will set you free. Well‚ except if you’re Jacques Pauw. If you’re him‚ the truth will get you charged. Oh‚ and it also doesn’t work if you’re a citizen of the Future Soviet Republic of South Putinstan: if you’re one of us‚ the truth will set you slouching to the freezer where you keep that emergency bottle of vodka.

Pauw’s book is shattering publishing records‚ outselling even the colouring-in books and braai manuals that comprise the bulk of South Africa’s literary intake. It’s just as well NB Publishers didn’t decide to produce it as a colouring-in braai manual called ‘The President’s Tjoppies’: the ensuing frenzy would have seen fatal crushes in bookshops.

Inevitably the book has raised a massive stink: that’s what happens when you break open a sewer. The surprise‚ however‚ has been the depth of the cesspool that is our national crisis. The Guptas‚ we now know‚ were just three large turds bobbing on the surface. It turns out it’s shit all the way down.

All of which is why‚ when the power was cut during Pauw’s Johannesburg launch‚ most people suspected the involvement of a Turd Force. Already there are reports that Pauw has been charged‚ presumably with leaking state secrets‚ mocking the Education Department by being able to read and write‚ and witchcraft.

There have also apparently been death threats‚ which is less funny. And yet‚ as tempting as it is to picture the Turd Force as a group of monsters‚ I try to retain some empathy for the goons.

Yes‚ this is a goon nation‚ where any goon with a dream and a song in his goon heart can rise to great heights. Hell‚ he can even become president. But the goon economy is competitive. There are young goons coming up all the time‚ with shinier suits and better contacts and more files on your smallanyana skeletons.

Worse‚ you know you’re unemployable outside the goon economy: you went into politics specifically to avoid getting an actual job. And now you’ve got a wife and little goonlets to feed‚ and a goonstress on the side wanting her own Beemer‚ and now this Pauw asshole comes along‚ pointing fingers. That’s got to be scary as hell.

But perhaps that’s the silver lining on this cloud. Pauw’s book is depressing‚ but if the turds are angry‚ it means they’re scared. Things are starting to move in the sewer.


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