Posted on June 4th, 2007 by Richard Catto 9,601 views
Far from being over, many questions remain unanswered.
How did de Lille become aware of the sa male prostitute blog? It doesn’t seem plausible that she just stumbled across it.
She invoked the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) in her initial public outburst, even though it was not clear how they fitted into the picture. She was criticised for that in the blogosphere.
The Sunday Times article (on May 27 2007) mentioned Mbeki for the first time.
In Saturday’s Weekend Argus (June 02 2007), an article written by Michael Schmidt (on page 15) pointed out that that vindicated de Lille’s invocation of the NIA, because there was a national security risk if a member of Mbeki’s staff had disclosed private information (about Mbeki) to a prostitute.
This information about Mbeki was not posted to the sa male prostitute blog, although the Sunday Times article gives that impression because they quote him immediately after they report that he had updated his blog on Friday May 25 2007. They leave that (deliberately) vague. They can say it was in the emails they got from him. Or they can say that he edited his blog to remove the information.
I never saw anything about Mbeki in the RSS feed from the blog, which I have still in my Google Reader. Although he has removed the posts, the feed remains.
The Sunday Times was careful to avoid naming others, except for Grindrod whose name was already associated. They chose to mention Mbeki. I think they wanted to smear Mbeki. They published slander that was not even available in the public domain. It was a vague insinuation that someone had dirt on Mbeki.
People (for instance, Vincent Maher of The Mail & Guardian) were criticising me for publishing sa male prostitute’s url in my blog (a criticism that I resist), but no-one has criticised The Sunday Times for being the original publisher of hearsay slander about Mbeki.
The Sunday Times reported they left a comment on the blog and received a response via email from "Skye, who claimed to be the anonymous blogger."
Now comment moderation was turned on and their alleged comment never showed up. The only person who could see The Sunday Times’ alleged comment was the person who had access to the blog’s dashboard (that’s what WordPress calls it’s control panel). So if they received a reply to their comment, it WAS the blogger. It wasn’t someone else – no-one else could see it. It’s not plausible to argue, "oh, he might have approved it for a few hours to give people a chance to see it, and then he hid it or deleted it."
My opinion is that they used ambiguous language deliberately, to give them a way out, if their story is shown to contain fabrications or "inaccuracies" later.
Emails can be traced. The headers contain the IP addresses of all the servers which handled it and also the originating IP.
The Sunday Times does not report what domain the email came from, but the blogger published his email address on his blog as samaleprostitute at yahoo dot co dot uk. Unfortunately, that address does not exist. firstname.lastname@example.org does however. The yahoo id samaleprostitute was registered on the day he posted his first entry (April 23 2007) so there is every likelihood that that is the address he used to communicate with The Sunday Times, if they’re telling the truth. Yahoo mail contains header information that identifies the originating IP address.
I don’t know how journalists operate, but if I receive an email from someone and their location is an issue, I’m all over their headers to check it out.
On Monday May 28 2007, Die Burger reported that they had also received an email from Skye.
Now Skye blogged about both Barry Ronge (The Sunday Times) and Peet Bothma (media24). Yet he chose to communicate only with those two media organisations, ones which would have an interest in tracking him down. He didn’t email IOL, even though some commenter on my blog calling "herself" Belinda wrote that he had.
Belinda most likely works for media24. She came onto my blog disparaging me by saying that all the journalists at media24 thought I would be fool enough to republish Skye’s material as truth. She also asked, "didn’t you use to work for media24?" She was clearly acting as an agent provocateur.
She is also responsible for sowing the idea all over the SA Blogosphere that the unknown blogger is Juan Uys, for which she has provided absolutely no proof. Belinda has not furnished her true identity either. She commented too that she was harmed by Juan Uys on a previous occasion, almost losing her job. Clearly she has a score to settle with him.
Neither The Sunday Times nor media24 have reported that Skye is actually in South Africa. They can trace those emails (if they exist). They also have two employees who would want them to.
The Sunday Times reported that "someone" from the Independent Democrats had emailed Skye. Who? At what email address? Or was this also a lie?
Did The Sunday Times and media24 cut the alleged legal deal with Skye?
They may have been able to discover his true identity by approaching someone at Internet Solutions with his IP address, via their ISP (MWeb / ISPA) contacts. Assuming the email story is true, and that Skye was being truthful about having cut a legal deal, of course.
So what is the real story here?
Is there a base political motive underlying all of this?
Was this all to take a cheap swipe at Mbeki, whilst focussing a lot of public attention on Patricia de Lille and Simon Grindrod to bolster The Independent Democrats, and to settle an old score by pinning it all on a patsy, Juan Uys?
Anyone who can find definitive answers to all these questions, has a great story to write.
Filed under Barry Ronge, blogger, Blogosphere, blogs, Die Burger, gay, Independent Democrats, IOL, Mail & Guardian, media24, news24, Patricia de Lille, prostitute, queer, rentboy, sa male prostitute, SAMPie, Simon Grindrod, Skye, South African Blogosphere, Sunday Times, The Media, Vincent Maher |
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