'President's Keepers' publisher wins top international award

2019-06-04 19:05
Jaco Marais.

Jaco Marais.

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South Africa's NB Publishers has been awarded the prestigious Association of American Publishers’ International Freedom to Publish Award for the 2017 release of The President’s Keepers by investigative journalist Jacques Pauw.

"Given annually, the award recognises a book publisher outside the United States that has demonstrated courage and fortitude in defending freedom of expression," the association said in a statement, following the announcement on Monday.

"The perseverance that NB Publishers has demonstrated in seeing through the publication of Jacques Pauw's important book despite the relentless threats that it expected and continue to experience from various state apparatuses is globally inspiring," said the association’s president and CEO, Maria Pallante.

Pauw's book implicated several high-ranking government officials, with the State Security Agency’s chief being among the people who wanted to gag the book that saw its first copies sell out within a day. 

"We knew, when we decided to publish The President’s Keepers, that we were taking an enormous risk. The main subject of our book held the highest power in the country," remarked NB Publishers’ managing director, Eloise Wessels.

"We had to edit, typeset, print, and distribute the book in the utmost secrecy to ensure that we would not be prevented from doing so before the stock was in the shops."

The chairperson of the association’s Freedom to Publish Committee, Terry Adams, in presenting the award to NB Publishers, lauded its persistence to continue publishing the book, calling it "brave" in bringing "the truth about government corruption to light". 

"When we face the kind of ferocious cease-and-desist campaign waged against NB Publishers, our scant resources are taxed, our resolve is challenged. All the more remarkable, then, that NB Publishers not only persisted but prevailed. 

"Its efforts to support a brave work of investigative journalism and to bring the truth about government corruption to light are totally deserving of this award," said Adams.

Read more on:    nb publishers  |  us
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