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Summary Profile

Jacques is an investigative journalist and author of the best-selling The President’s Keepers: Those who keep Zuma in power and out of prison.

The book, published in October 2017, has been widely hailed as the most important book published in post-apartheid South Africa and is the biggest selling non-fiction book in South African history.

Jacques, named by Nelson Mandela as one of South Africa’s greatest journalists, has worked as a reporter, television documentary producer, commentator, author and columnist for more than 30 years.

He has twice been named as CNN’s African Journalist of the Year, has won the Daniel Pearl award in the United States for the world’s best cross-border investigative journalism, Italy’s Ilaria Alpi, South Africa’s Journalist of the Year Award and was the recipient of the Nat Nakasa Award for bravery and integrity in journalism. In 2018 he was selected as South Africa’s corruption buster of the year, was awarded the Declaration Scroll by the Editors’ Forum of Namibia and received the Ahmed Kathrada excellence in leadership award. He is also a member of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), an exclusive club of the world’s best investigative journalists.

He has worked for most of South Africa’s biggest publications and was among others a co-founder of the Afrikaans anti-apartheid newspaper Vrye Weekblad (Free Weekly) where he exposed the existence of police death squads in November 1989.

He has also produced a host of current affairs documentaries throughout the African continent. Amongst them were documentaries on the genocide in Rwanda, the war between Ethiopia and Eritrea and civil
conflicts in Sierra Leone, Sudan, Burundi, Zaire (today DRC), Algeria, Liberia, Rwanda and Angola.

He left journalism in 2014 and bought a restaurant, bar and guesthouse in the Western Cape village of Riebeek Kasteel. He pursued a new career as a chef – until he started writing The President’s Keepers towards the end of 2016.

In January 2019, he became a co-editor of the “new” Vrye Weekblad, an Afrikaans online publication. He left at the end of July 2019 in order to write a follow-up of The President’s Keepers. 

Jacques is the author of six books, five of non-fiction and one of fiction. The President’s Keepers has won several literary awards, including the prestigious Association of American Publishers’ International Freedom to Publish Award and the Nielsen Booksellers Award.


How Jacob Zuma stole your country and the battle to win it back

Rave Reviews

Dear Jacques

On behalf of the executive of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies
KwaZulu-Natal, I take great pleasure in thanking you for taking time out of your
busy schedule to address our community at our fund raising gala event.
It goes without saying that your presence has immensely enhanced the
atmosphere of the evening.  We know your keynote address will make a
memorable impact on all who attended as your incredible commitment in exposing
the truth is a source of inspiration. 
Once again our sincerest gratitude.
Warmest regards
Jeremy Droyman


Hi Jacques,  
Just a quick note to say thank you for participating in the IFA Symposium.  Your presentation
was brilliant and so well received.  In fact you received the highest rating out of all speakers
on the day! 
Overall the Symposium received great feedback so thank you for the part you played. 
Best regards,
Robert Phillips - ThunderMark


Dear Jacques 
Thank you for your time this week, you certainly had an impact on the team and everyone
has been chatting about your work. It was indeed a privilege to have met you and Sam and
to have shared the time we did together. Thank you too for the work you have done, along
with all your contributors, to make an impact on our troubled country through your work.
I look forward to making contact when next in Riebeek and sharing another bottle of wine
or two. 
Once again, thank you for your time and best wishes to your and your family. 
Warm regards 
Don Paynter - PureStrive

Thank you so much for your beautiful speech and for the important job you do every day, it was a
privilege to have you last night as guest speaker.
Mariagrazia Biancospino
Secretary General
Italian-South African Chamber of Trade & Industries

Jacques Pauw


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