Cape Town – Former president Jacob Zuma’s first printed copy of his book was bought for R20 000 at a mini-auction during the book’s official launch at Umhlanga, Durban on Friday.
The book titled, Jacob Zuma Speaks was officially launched by the Jacob G Zuma Foundation.
Bidding kick-started at R500, with unionist Muzi Khumalo, who initially upped the bid to R16 000 before being persuaded to up his bid to R20 000, TimesLIVE reported.
The report said the book, which was released in late 2021 retails for R280 at bookstores and had sold thousands of copies.
Khumalo, who is the general secretary of the Construction, Mining, Energy and Engineering Workers Union (Comeewu), said the book was worth far more than its price, adding that the purchase was part of the union’s donation to the foundation, the report said.
“The book tells a story about a chapter of a South African life when a president was seriously driving the transformation of the economy and bringing the economy into the hands of people. That book for me is very important for future generations to address a narrative that Zuma was corrupt,” the report quoted Khumalo as saying.
Guests at the launch included former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe, former SAA chair Dudu Myeni and advocate Dali Mpofu, the report said.
— Sakhiseni Nxumalo (@SakhiNxumalo) November 18, 2022
According to IOL, speaking during the launch, Zuma said the book was a direct response to President Cyril Ramaphosa, who claimed at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in February 2019 that his nine years as the president of the country were a “waste”.
Zuma said it was shocking that the statement came from Ramaphosa who worked with him during his years as the president.
“I did not mind being criticised after leaving the government because it was common everywhere that when the president has left office he would be criticised, but I never expected to be criticised by the person that was my deputy.
“I initially thought I should ignore this and let it go and would have not bothered to respond if it was said by an ordinary person or some journalist because I would assume that person did not know what he was saying but because it was the country’s number two I felt I should respond to him to correct the false narrative this had created in society that for nine years I did nothing as president,” the report quoted Zuma as saying.
The Citizen, reported that the book was supposed to be a tell-all book about his time in power.
However the 271 page book consisted of merely a collection of speeches delivered by the former president during his time in power, selected and commented on by the University of Zululand’s Professor Sipho Seepe and independent media consultant Kim Heller, the report said.