File image: Former President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma. (IOL).

CAPE TOWN - Jacques Pauw’s controversial book, The President’s Keepers will be adapted into a television drama series which will see each episode in the series cost nearly R20 million.

The President’s Keepers presents the alleged corrupt dealings that took place under the leadership of Zuma and his so-called cronies. 

His book had been the subject of much scrutiny since being published last year and Pauw has faced legal action by the South African Revenue Service (Sars) with claims that The President’s Keepers violates the Tax Administrative Act. 

Pauw has since responded claiming that it reaffirms the credibility of his claims. Despite receiving much backlash, Pauw told Business Report that he is “very excited” that his book will evolve into a television series. 

Author of The President's Keeper, Jacques Pauw during his book launch in Brooklyn Mall, Pretoria. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/ANA

“It is very exciting as it will be the first of its kind in South Africa. It will centre on Zuma and his predecessors and fraud and corruption”, said Pauw. 

“When I wrote the book, I did not have a drama series in mind”, he said. 

South African producer, Neil van Deventer who bought the film rights to the book said that on the day that the book had been released, he made an offer to purchase the movie rights. 

“I was at OR Tambo Airport and I bought the book, by simply reading the foreword, I enquired about purchasing the movie rights for the book and I made a really good offer”, said van Deventer. 

Van Deventer said that the television drama series will cost an estimated R20 million per episode. He added that he is currently in talks with various international players as well as possible broadcasters. 

The producer said that he had a meeting with subscription-funded television channel MNET and direct broadcast satellite service DStv. When asked where the funds will come from to produce the series, Van Deventer said that most of the money will come from the broadcaster once the broadcaster purchases the rights to air the show. 

However, he added that he has also submitted an application for a film incentive from the Department of Trade and Industry (dti). 

Based on the broadcaster, Van Deventer said that there is a definite possibility that the series will be streamed in order for all South Africans to watch it.

The series will feature a big cast with 10 leads and between 50 to 100 supporting cast with mainly local characters. 

According to Van Deventer, filming will most likely take place in Cape Town. When asked whether he has a hard task at hand, considering the backlash the book received, Van Deventer said that it is not a concern as the story is already out and there will be no new and glaring revelations that will be revealed on the show. 

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- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE