First Edition 4th Impression, Tight Clean copy
Within four days of the book’s publication it was cited in Parliamentary questions directed at the president by the opposition Democratic Alliance. On the 3 November 2017 the State Security Agency issued a cease and desist order to prevent more books being sold, arguing that the book contravened the Intelligence Service Act. SARS also stated that they would investigate initiating criminal charges against the author for publicising confidential tax records. The actions by the State Security Agency and SARS were criticised as censorship by the civil society organisations the Right2Know Campaign and Corruption Watch as well as by the South African Communist Party. Book stores and publishers refused to obey the cease and desist order arguing that the book was factual and its information was in the public interest.
The threat of censorship caused a spike in sales of the book causing it to sell out of its first print run of 20,000 books within 24 hours of State Security Agency’s cease and desist order as readers sought to get a copy before it possibly being banned, making the book an international best seller. The resulting shortage of books combined with the public fear of censorship resulted in a digitally pirated version of the book being widely shared in the few days following the cease and desist order. A launch of the book on the evening of Wednesday 8 November 2017 was cancelled after a power outage. During the launch, Pauw told attendees that he expected to spend years fighting legal battles.
Following its publication the author, Jacques Pauw, stated that he had received death threats from anonymous sources.
Audited sales reach 193,895 while sales now exceed 200,000.