Zuma exposé flies off shelves

Cigarettes: Bombshell book revealing the inner workings of JZ's presidency has already been forced into a second print run

31 October 2017 - 07:09 By KYLE COWAN
Jacob Zuma. File photo.
Jacob Zuma. File photo.
Image: Alaister Russell

Those named and shamed in Jacques Pauw's explosive The President's Keepers lashed out at the investigative journalist on Monday as the publisher was forced into the second print run of the book. 

NB Publishers CEO Eloise Wessels said 20,000 copies had been printed but orders were flooding in and another 10,000 would be printed.

"The fact it has found such resonance with South Africans - especially with readers buying the book - goes to show how deeply concerned the public is with how our country has become a gangster state," Wessels said.

The President's Keepers identifies key players in the local tobacco trade, SARS officials, police officials and state security agency spy bosses who all apparently worked in unison to protect President Jacob Zuma from landing in jail on criminal charges.

It also drops bombshells relating to Zuma's finances, including claims that he was employed at R1-million a month by Royal Security in Durban for at least four months after he was appointed president, and that he had failed to submit tax returns for years.

Constitutional law expert Pierre de Vos wrote in his blog on Monday that the allegation was shocking and, if it was true, would mean Zuma was guilty of a "serious violation of the constitution and has committed an impeachable offence".

The Presidency has denied the claims.

When contacted yesterday, a "Mr Govender" at Royal Security refused to comment on the matter or the relationship of Zuma's close friend, Roy Moodley, with the firm.

The book also claims money flowed from Delta Tobacco (now Amalgamated Tobacco Manufacturers), which is owned by Pietermaritzburg businessman Yusuf Kajee, to Zuma's home in Nkandla through his son, Edward.

The book describes two alleged meetings in late 2013 between convicted drug dealer and underworld fixer Glenn Agliotti, business associate Paul de Robillard, Kajee and a person named Warren.

The meetings were recorded and the tapes were handed to former SARS official Johann van Loggerenberg, the book says.

Pauw alleges Agliotti arranged the meeting to convey plans approved by the State Security Agency, NPA and the Hawks, which had given the go-ahead for a cigarette-smuggling operation in which everyone involved would receive immunity in return for flooding the market with cheap cigarettes in an effort to prevent other smugglers from trading.

Kajee told The Times the book was "obviously work between" Pauw and Van Loggerenberg and questioned how confidential taxpayer information landed up in the hands of "a man in the street".

"What I can't understand, this was information sitting with enforcement officers. How did this get into Pauw's hands? Does he steal it, does he buy it?"

Kajee also alleged that the recording was "done by SARS" and questioned how it had ended up with Pauw, adding that "it was all for monetary gain".

Van Loggerenberg, through his lawyer, Brett Murison of Boqwana-Burns Attorneys, said Kajee's allegations were "utter nonsense and laughable". He denied Van Loggerenberg had assisted Pauw with the book.

Van Loggerenberg declined to comment.

Businessman Adriano Mazzoti, who is alleged to be funding Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma's ANC presidential campaign, did not respond to questions.