Jacques Pauw dishes on Browse Mole Report, 'spy tapes' and how Zuma evaded taxes

Investigative journalist and author, Jacques Pauw's latest book ‘The President’s Keepers’ has been causing a stir in the public domain as it reveals published accounts alleging how South African President, Jacob Zuma received R1 million a month from a security company without declaring it to the SA Revenue Service (Sars), among other things.

The book also alleges that Zuma did not submit tax returns for five years - during the periods of 2009 until 2014 - despite former Sars deputy commissioner, Ivan Pillay‚ begging him to.

Pauw joined 702 and CapeTalk host Eusebius McKaiser for a one on one conversation about his explosive book.

Pauw says the since the release of his book he feels incredibly overwhelmed. Before the book was published, I knew it would elicit some reaction from the law enforcement agencies, I never expected anything like this, says Pauw.

Read: 8 things you may not know about Jacques Pauw

I also didn't expect the support from the public out there.

Jacques Pauw, author and investigative journalist

On who is Arthur Fraser

There was some publicity surrounding Arthur Fraser around 2006/2006 when the so-called Browse Mole Report emerged-implicating President Jacob Zuma in all kinds of nasty action. The Browse Mole Report in the end was planted on Jacob Zuma to discredit him.

Jacques Pauw, author and investigative journalist

Fraser was the man that investigated Browse Mole. The Mail & Guardian then wrote an article, when Fraser was the deputy director general of state security, saying he came across the spy tapes. Fraser gave the spy tapes to Michael Hulley and Jacob Zuma. And by doing that he probably armoured himself.

Jacques Pauw, author and investigative journalist

Fraser quietly resigned in 2011, says Pauw adding that what people did not know is that there was a massive investigation against for fraud and corruption that included almost R11 billion of taxpayers money.

Pauw goes to reveal that Ronnie Kasrils' signature was forged for example and warehouses, cars, farms and all kinds of spy equipment was purchased, while Fraser also appointed family members.

On SARS the SA Revenue Service (Sars)

Sars had magnificent people working for them - these are people that weren't aligned with any political party, politicians or factions in government. After Jacob Zuma became president, we started seeing people like former Hawks head Anwa Dramat disappear and worked out of the system.

Jacques Pauw, author and investigative journalist

Sars was still there to go after organised criminals, bringing down people like Lolly Jackson and Glenn Agliotti but they were also prepared to treated everyone as an ordinary taxpayer and that included the President and that led to their downfall.

Jacques Pauw, author and investigative journalist

How the 'Gordhan Four' at Sars were an obstacle to the President and his keepers and how Zuma evaded taxes

Pauw stresses that it is vital to distinguish between the two Sars regimes that existed.

There's the first Sars regime of people like; Oupa Magashula, Ivan Pillay, Johann van Loggerenberg and others that lasted until the end of 2014. This is the Sars regime that hunted down organised criminals.

Jacques Pauw, author and investigative journalist

When Zuma came to office in May 2009, he was tax compliant with the aid of Sars. After he became president, he didn't submit his tax returns for the first five years of his presidency. This led to Sars saw Zuma and his attorney, Michael Hulley regularly, pleading with him to submit his tax returns circa 2011/2012.

Jacques Pauw, author and investigative journalist

They wouldn't say to Zuma why it was important for him to submit, but by then Sars had picked up that a year prior to him becoming president and four months into office, he was paid R1 million a month by security tycoon, Roy Moodley.

Jacques Pauw, author and investigative journalist

The second problem the President faced was the Nkandla issue. Sars calculated that the President owed just over R63 million for the upgrades. Zuma could have gone and asked Parliament to declare that he doesn't owe any tax on the upgrades but he was arrogant.

Jacques Pauw, author and investigative journalist

This culminated in a 2014 meeting, when former deputy SA Revenue Service commissioner Ivan Pillay saw Zuma and asked him to become tax compliant, also warning him that they would treat him like any ordinary citizen.

That left Zuma with a predicament. Had he not submitted his tax returns, Sars could have done a full-scale audit which may have lead to the insolvency meaning and an insolvent cannot become president.

Jacques Pauw, author and investigative journalist

Investigative journalist Stefan Hofstatter was in studio and he and Pauw discussed the 'rogue Sars unit' story that the press ombudsman had found to be 'inaccurate and unfair'.

Listen to the audio below at 29'30" for the debate between the two journalists.

Pauw claims that this 'dirty tricks' campaign orchestrated by agents within SSA led to the creation of the Sunday Times article and ultimately to a purge of the Sars top leadership structure.

Hofstatter responded to Pauw and attempted to explain his side of the story.

Pauw asks him why he wrote the story. (31'48")

Hofstatter responds (32'53") and says he is not speaking on behalf of the other journalists involved or The Sunday Times.

Was the Sars rogue unit expose published week after week in The Sunday Times bogus, asks McKaiser. 'No' replies Hofstatter. He says the newspaper has apologised for mistakes made,

But when Judge Frank Kroon stood up and said 'I found evidence of wrongful acts committed', I can't consider that completely bogus.

Stefan Hofstatter, investigative journalist

Listen to the full interview in the clip below:


This article first appeared on 702 : Jacques Pauw dishes on Browse Mole Report, 'spy tapes' and how Zuma evaded taxes


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