The President's Keepers: Those Keeping Zuma in Power and Out of Prison by Jacques Pauw

The President's Keepers: Those Keeping Zuma in Power and Out of Prison by Jacques Pauw

Author:Jacques Pauw
Language: eng
Format: mobi, epub
ISBN: 9780624083054
Publisher: Tafelberg
Published: 2017-10-14T22:00:00+00:00


Up in smoke

I'm afraid things don't get better. On a research trip to Johannesburg in April 2017, I sat down with a SARS official in a swanky Viennese-style café in an elegant shopping centre in Pretoria's north-eastern suburbs. The official was one of the two “deep throats” who had given me the details about Zuma's lamentable tax affairs. I had in the meantime established a safe channel of communication with my SARS sources through encrypted e-mails.

“What is going on with Huang?” I wanted to know. “I have lots about Lifman and the others, but I'm struggling to get anything new on Huang.”

The official replied: “Huang is very difficult because the case has always been sensitive. It's handled by the very top. Moyane's people are in charge of it. Nobody knows what's going on because the Centralised Projects Unit that handled it has been disbanded . . . None of the people there have anything to do with the case anymore. The guy who used to run it is now at Law Admin and many of the key people in the case have left SARS.”

A week or two later, he/she e-mailed again. “There is some sort of a list. SARS found it the day they raided his company. Someone has told me that it is in Mandarin or Chinese and was translated by SARS. The guy told me it contains the names of important people, government officials and politicians. Next to the names are amounts of money. It can mean one of two things. It is either money that Huang had paid to them. Or it is money that he laundered for them out of the country to foreign bank accounts.”

“Get that list!” I told him/her. “It's vital.”

“There is no way. People are paranoid. It feels as though everybody is spying on everybody. Our e-mails are constantly being monitored. You can't just pull a file. If you go onto any of the systems, you will leave your details and they will know who accessed it. The guy who told me about the list said those documents were always kept somewhere safe. Only a few people have ever seen them.”

I saw both officials a few days later. After we had ordered cappuccinos and exchanged niceties, I wanted to know: “That list you spoke about, the one they found at Huang's place, could you get it?”

“No, I'm sorry. I found out what I could but I won't be able to get a copy. But I did find something else.”


“Letters and memos,” he/she said and pulled out a plastic folder from a dark leather bag. The source handed me a couple of SARS documents and pointed at one. It was a letter written on an Mpisi Group letterhead. The Mpisi Group belongs to Taiwanese-born Jen-Chih “Robert” Huang. The letter was addressed to “Mr J. Makwakwa, Chief Operating Officer” and was dated 15 September 2015. The letter was a record of a meeting that Huang had with SARS at which he proposed a possible settlement of his tax debt, which was more than a billion rand.


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