Power outage during Pauw's book launch being investigated – Exclusive Books

Host of event in Hyde Park says it's not clear if it was an attempt to silence the author

Power outage during Jacques Pauw's book launch being investigated – Exclusive Books

9 November 2017

Johannesburg – It is still unclear whether the power outage during the launch of Jacques Pauw's book, The President's Keepers , was caused by a technical failure or if it was an attempt to silence him, event hosts Exclusive Books said on Thursday.

"At this stage, we have no way of knowing whether the disruption was the result of a technical failure or whether there was some unseen hand intent on silencing Mr Pauw," Exclusive Books CEO Benjamin Trisk said in a statement.

"There is an ongoing investigation and no doubt, in time, we will know the true circumstances," he said.

News24 reported on Wednesday that an unexplained power cut abruptly ended a discussion on Pauw's explosive book.

The President's Keepers was officially launched at Hyde Park Corner shopping centre on Wednesday evening.

The power went out during Pauw's interview with veteran journalist Peter Bruce much to the amazement of the organisers and attendees.

According to Bruce, Eskom officials were allegedly working outside the mall and mistakenly tripped the power supply.

Bruce, however, said he found it odd that the mall's generator had not taken over.

Crowd's conduct 'exemplary'

The generator started working 15 minutes after the interruption.

As Bruce was recovering his interview with Pauw, another power outage occurred.

Trisk said an investigation was underway to try and establish what caused the disruption.

"Exclusive Books Group, its shareholders, directors and staff, want to acknowledge the amazing conduct and comportment of a very large crowd in a confined space. Our customers' behaviour was exemplary."

Trisk said after the lights went out, customers remained calm and there was no rush for the doors.

"There was an extraordinary sense of camaraderie among everyone. In the dark, literally, our customers queued for up to two and a half hours to have Mr Pauw sign their book(s) in the faint glow of a candle or half-light from a cellphone.

"Throughout this period, the queue was orderly, the civility was extraordinary, there was an abundance of good humour and the very best of South Africa was on display."

Trisk thanked all those who attended the event.

"It was a magnificent display. We are in awe," he said.