Rabat – In his book, The President’s Keepers, South African investigative journalist Jacques Pauw exposes the secret underworld that has kept the African state’s president Jacob Zuma “in power and out of prison.”
The book claims that Zuma’s presidential campaign was being funded by cigarette manufacturer, self-confessed smuggler, fraudster, and money launderer Adriano Mazzotti. Pauw’s investigation explores the close relationship between the president and the notorious gangster, who has “miraculously” avoided prison and attempted to establish an illegal cigarette trade with Zuma’s blessing.
The book details that Zuma opened several bank accounts and was granted multiple loans without ever paying his debts.
Pauw pointed fingers at Zuma for illegally earning about USD 70,000 a month from Royal Security, a company owned by Durban businessman, Roy Moodley, after he was elected as the country’s president for at least four months.
Zuma has denied receiving any payments from private companies or individuals. “I did not receive any payments from private individuals or companies during my tenure as president of the Republic of South Africa – other than those disclosed or reported to the necessary authorities,” he said.
Zuma did not pay taxes for the first five years of his presidency, and the South African Revenue Service “had to beg him” to submit his returns and become tax compliant, says Pauw.
Responding to questions on the book in the South African Parliament, Zuma said that “there are many books that have talked about Jacob Zuma in this country and saying all speculations and rumours. I don’t think my job is to answer books.”
Eloise Wessels, the CEO of NB Publishers, who published the book, said that 20,000 copies of the book were printed and that another 10,000 are on print.
“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,” she told The Times.