Buitenverwachting Restaurant was packed last week when guest speaker Jacques Pauw spoke to Thursday Club guests about his explosive new book The President’s Keepers. The journalist and author was a founder member of the anti-apartheid Afrikaans newspaper VryeWeekblad in the late 1980s, where he exposed the Vlakplaas police death squads. He worked for some of the country’s most esteemed publications before becoming a documentary filmmaker, producing documentaries on wars and conflicts in Rwanda, Burundi, Algeria, Liberia, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sierra Leone, among other countries. He has won the CNN African Journalist of the Year Award twice, the Daniel Pearl Award for Outstanding International Investigative Reporting in America, Italy’s Ilaria Alpi and the Nat Nakasa award for bravery and integrity in journalism. He is the author of five books: four non-fiction and one fiction – In the Heart of the Whore; Into the Heart of Darkness; Dances with Devils; Rat Roads and Little Ice Cream Boy. As guests tucked into dishes designed by Buitenverwachting’s chef Edgar Osojnik, and sipped on award-winning wines, they listened to Mr Pauw’s journey from Russia to KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape, along the corridors of power in Pretoria and Johannesburg.
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