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For my country: Why I blew the whistle on Zuma and the Guptas – Themba Maseko


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For my country: Why I blew the whistle on Zuma and the Guptas – Themba Maseko

Themba Maseko unpacks his book 'For my country: Why I blew the whistle on Zuma and the Guptas' (Camera & editing: Nicholas Boyd)

6th July 2021


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‘When I joined the struggle as a 13-year-old boy in Soweto, I would never have imagined that one day I would blow the whistle on a special kind of corruption that was destroying the party and the values I had been fighting for all my life.’

In 2010, government spokesperson Themba Maseko was called to the Gupta  family’s Saxonwold compound and asked by Ajay Gupta to divert the government’s entire advertising budget to the family’s media company. When Maseko refused to do so, he was removed from his position and forced to leave the public service.

The life of this once-proud civil servant would never be the same again.

Maseko, whose activism was forged in the Soweto uprising of 1976, is a product of the struggle, and has always been unfailingly loyal to the principles of the ANC. In 2016, when the party called on members with evidence of wrongdoing by the Guptas to step forward, Maseko was the only one to do so. For this courageous act of whistleblowing, he was ostracised, slandered and even threatened.

As a former senior state official, Maseko also offers a rare insider’s view of the presidencies of Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma and of the inner workings of government.

Compelling and revelatory, For My Country shows what it takes to stand up for one’s principles and defy the most powerful man in the country.



Themba Maseko is the former CEO of the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) and government spokesperson. After a brief term as Member of Parliament in 1994, Maseko was appointed as head of the Gauteng Department of Education before he became director general of the national Department of Public Works. He holds a BA LLB from the University of the Witwatersrand where he was involved in student politics in the 1980s. Maseko currently works as an independent communications consultant and part-time lecturer at the Wits School of Governance. He lives in Johannesburg.


For my country: Why I blew the whistle on Zuma and the Guptas is published by Jonathan Ball Publishers


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