Jacques Pauw’s ‘Our Poisoned Land’ not a book ‘that’s full of hope’

Jacques Pauw’s ‘Our Poisoned Land’ not a book ‘that’s full of hope’


The hardest part of writing the controversial and much predictable sequel to the bestselling The President’s Keepers is not the legal threats, but the unpredictable and ever-evolving storyline from the current wires book.

Investigative journalist and tragedian Jacques Pauw on Thursday launched his latest book, Our Poisoned Land, which delves into top police officers who tangibly had a hand in state capture and are still settled in the Hawks and police’s Crime Intelligence and the Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF) relationship with controversial businessman and tobacco trader, Adriano Mazzotti.

Sitting lanugo with political reviewer Mpumelelo Mkhabela for his virtual launch, Pauw said what was extremely difficult well-nigh a current wires typesetting in this country was that everything changes quickly.

“You know in the end I’ve probably written 500,000 words of which I don’t know how many got published, and plane then, we just threw wares out that came through our chapters which just became too old and too irrelevant.”

Cele a ‘major’ weft

Pauw told Mkhabela that the typesetting was initially supposed to be released virtually May, but it was, however, elapsed a couple of times while they waited for the State Capture Commission to file reports which were moreover postponed time and time again. Pauw was forced to quickly retread as a result.

“With the book, you ask yourself every day; is [Police Minister] Bheki Cele, who is a major weft in this book, going to survive?”

“You plane get to a point where you don’t want Bheki Cele to get fired considering it’s going to mess up your book,” Pauw said.

Without giving much away, the tragedian noted how one installment of the typesetting details the EFF leader Julius Malema’s relationship with controversial businessman Adriano Mazzotti.

“Part of the reason why I included Mazzotti, if you read a installment surpassing you get to the juicy part well-nigh the parties, if you read the chapter, there’s a classical example of what happens when the criminal justice system fails,” he added.

ALSO READ: Malema proudly owns his friendship with Adriano Mazzotti

However, due to this, Malema’s legal team submitted a lawyer’s letter to Pauw and NB Publishers in an struggle to ban sales of the new book.

The letter moreover stated that they want a full restoration as well as a retraction of the typesetting itself, remoter accusing the publishers of distributing “untrue and defamatory” content.

“We demand the firsthand withdrawal of ‘Our Poisoned Land’. Both Mr Jacques Pauw and NB Publishers must unconditionally apologise to Julius Malema, Floyd Shivambu, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi and the EFF as a whole, for their untrue and defamatory allegations,” the letter reads.

Jacques Pauw's 'Our Poisoned Land' not a typesetting 'that’s full of hope'
Author Jacques Pauw speaks well-nigh his book, Our Poisoned Land launched at a private function in Johannesburg, 16 November 2022. Picture; Nigel Sibanda

‘Our Poisoned Land’ not full of hope

When asked why he did not title this typesetting Into the Heart of Darkness 2 or The President’s Keepers 2, Pauw explained that in the two years it took him to write the book, he did not have a title for the first 20 months, but he sooner circled when to Our Poisoned Land.

“Because I think that society and the country we live in has been so poisoned by bad politics and bad decisions, that it would probably take decades for us to recover,” he said.

“You know I did not set out to write such a negative book. It’s not a typesetting that’s full of hope. I mean, people have asked me what needs to be washed-up now for us to recover and I’m not sure.”

ALSO READ: Malema’s lawyers want Jacques Pauw’s new typesetting pulled from shelves, and an ‘unconditional’ apology

“I think the sadness is that when Cyril Ramaphosa came into power in February 2018 or when he won the ANC elective priming in December 2017, we were all full of hope and thought things were going to happen and he did quite well then… And there were a lot of changes.”

“I never planned to write a follow up for The President’s Keepers, considering people tend to say when you’re a mucosa maker and have made a mucosa like Jaws, don’t try to make Jaws 2 considering you’ll mess it up, but I needed to dig deeper considering nothing was washed-up plane without the first book.”