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I’ve seen some strange things in three and a half decades of financial journalism. But the Gupta-initiated legal letter republished below takes the cake. First, it is headed Urgent and not for publication. Which is illogical because it provides the Gupta defence which demands the widest possible audience in the public interest. Next, it comes from a London firm which must cost a multiple of Sandton rates. And third, the Guptas are picking a fight with Biznews about stories we pay the mighty Bloomberg and the Financial Times of London to republish under licence. With their beef with us being we supposedly published them “knowing that they were untrue”. Which is ridiculous. The stories were selected from hundreds of other options because they are newsworthy for South Africans and from what we regard as a reputable source. Our response is simple. When Bloomberg (or the FT) recant so will we. Until then, the stories stay. We trust the news gathering skills and fact checks of our partners. What baffles me most, though, is when we contacted the author and editor of the Bloomberg story last night, neither were aware of any legal threat to them. Which tells a story all of its own. – Alec Hogg
Download the letter here