‘Zuma is losing clout’ - Jacques Pauw

Jacob Zuma will eventually run out of friends and tactics to delay having to answer in court for his allegedly corrupt dealings.

This is the view of investigative journalist and best-selling author Jacques Pauw, speaking at the Midlands Literary Festival in Howick at the weekend.

“He is going to be a sad and a lonely figure because he is not going to have many friends. I do not feel sorry for him,” said Pauw, author of The President’s Keepers, which exposed how SARS had protected Zuma from having to pay millions in tax.

More than 20 authors shared the stage during the two-day Literary Festival held at the Fern Hill Hotel.

Pauw, whose book paints a damning picture of the corrupt cabal that helped Zuma gain power and then kept him there, said some of the most influential figures in the ANC were already distancing themselves from Zuma.

“If you look at the people that come to support him at court other than the supporters that are bused in, you have people like Faith Muthambi and others who are completely discredited individuals. I think he is being isolated and he has lost some power,” he said.

Pauw said he doubted that Zuma’s close associates, the Gupta brothers, would ever face the music for their role in state capture. “I doubt we will ever see the Guptas in the dock,” he said.

Had it not been for courts and people like former public protector Thuli Madonsela, South Africa would have been a mafia state by now, Pauw said.

“Certainly Parliament had failed us. We had already entered the realms of the mafia state. We can never allow it to happen again. We can only survive one Zuma. We are not strong enough to survive another Zuma. Pravin Gordhan said SA lost R100 billion through state capture,” he said.

Pauw said the intense land debate would cause a lot of upheaval in the country, with the EFF playing a destructive role.

“Cyril Ramaphosa has inherited this ANC policy of expropriation of land without compensation, which was Zuma’s last revenge where he threw this hot potato. I agree with Ramaphosa that we have to find a way to redistribute land or else we are going to have a revolution,” he said.