As the author and publisher of an explosive book revealing South Africa’s “shadow mafia state” prepare for a showdown with government agencies The President’s Keepers has become a global hit.
Within hours of the State Security Agency (SSA) demanding the book be recalled because it “compromised state security”‚ sales spiked‚ a hacked PFD copy of the book was shared widely and Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane was drawn into the controversy.
Investigative journalist and author Jacques Pauw said in a post on Facebook on Sunday: “This is my take: if you have a PDF copy and can afford to buy a book‚ please do it. Erase the PDF and buy a book or the kindle version. If you can’t find a book now‚ read the PDF but you should still order a book. If you cannot afford a book‚ go for it and read it. You have my blessing.”
“This is not about money. It is about your support that is going to enable us to legally lock horns with SARS‚ the State Security Agency and whoever else drags us to court‚” he said.
The SSA has threatened to take the author and publisher to court on Tuesday if the book is not recalled and certain parts of it sanitised.
The South African Revenue Service accused Pauw of violating the Tax Administration Act for revealing details of President Jacob Zuma’s tax affairs.
Pauw is ready for the imminent court battles. “We face the potential of a multitude of legal challenges‚ both criminal and civil. If you read the book‚ you will realise that it is a tried and tested strategy of the State to legally [wear] out their enemies‚” he said.
The spy agency’s efforts to get the book shelved through legal action and the Public Protector’s denouncing of the offering‚ in a tweet‚ has resulted in a massive boost in sales as curiosity soars about what government agencies want to hide.
Amazon rated the book as a best seller. The kindle edition leapt up the charts‚ becoming the eighth fastest selling e-book globally on Saturday. It remained in 15th place on Sunday.
While the book has been widely welcomed‚ some have questioned Pauw’s motives for writing it. But many have voiced their support.
“The President’s Keepers cannot be banned because the right to express an opinion is guaranteed by the Constitution‚” tweeted Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota.
Government‚ he added‚ was entitled to contest the correctness or otherwise of what was published but if they don’t‚ they don’t have the right to silence the truth.