Friday, November 24, 2017

Dispute with Country Life editor Nita Hazell - The Saga Continues

Date: 15 Nov 2017 08:20
Anton Botes

Nov 23 (1 day ago)
to Nitame
Morning Nick.

As per my previous e-mail on the 15th November 2017 I have met with Nita to discuss the matter. We have looked at all the correspondence and information provided and Nita will revert with a written response within the next couple of days.

We would like to resolve this matter amicably and if possible find a way forward.

Kind regards.

Anton Botes
General Manager

Fri, Nov 24, 2017 at 3:19 PM


3:19 PM (1 hour ago)
to me
Dear Nick,

I have read your e-mails of 10 and 22 November 2017.
I must say I find the content surprising and upsetting, to say the least.
Without going into any detail, I find your accusations defamatory and offensive both on a personal and professional level. What is more they are unfounded.
You appear to have taken umbrage to the few proposals I put forward on the content of your Battiss feature. We both agreed that this rather odd aspect of his life is central to his work and I believed this would be in the general interests of Country Life readers. In so doing, I was simply carrying out my mandate as editor, and may I remind you that I have the final say on published content and bear the final responsibility. I might add that I have been editor of Country Life for 10 years and know my reader well.
You seem to have regarded my proposals as a criticism of your journalistic competence. That is simply not so. In fact, going through earlier correspondence between us, may I remind you of what I said to you in the past:-
“Thanks for another amazing and insightful art story. So enjoyed reading it. She might not be your ‘cup of tea’ but she is one of my favourite artists and now I know why.”  (6 February 2017 re your Maggie Laubser feature)
“P.S. I so enjoyed your Frans Oerder story. It brought back some wonderful memories as I went to school in Pretoria and lived just around the corner from Eastwood Street. Please see if you can source another photo of the artist as the one you supplied is not printable.”  (11 April 2017 re your Oerder feature)
I think that my comments speak for themselves. Any conclusion reached by you that I do not respect your journalistic competence, is simply not true. By the same token, you should also have respect for the job I have as editor.
While writing this letter to you, it struck me that, although we have a longstanding relationship, we have never met face-to-face. After giving the matter thought, I wish to extend an invitation to you to come and have a meeting at my office. I would hope that in such a meeting we would be able to clear the air between us and establish an amicable basis to continue working together in the future. I am available to meet anytime within the next two weeks. Please indicate whether you are willing to accept my invitation and if so, what date suits you.
In the meantime, I request you not to carry on airing the matter on social media as this will only aggravate matters.
I look forward to hearing from you.

Nita Hazell
Editor SA Country Life

Fri, Nov 24, 2017 at 4:06 PM

Nick van der Leek

4:06 PM (39 minutes ago)
to AntonNita
Hi Anton

I don't see any effort to resolve the issue amicably as you suggested. In fact this is exactly the kind of hard arsed attitude all over again.

Could you and I have a conversation next week, Monday preferably.

If we can't reach a proper outcome then I will be pursuing restitution in court.


Nick van der Leek 

4:12 PM (32 minutes ago)
to NitaAnton
As for you Nita in your long pointless email you seem to have elegantly sidestepped the issue of blackmailing me and threatening to kill my work whenever you don't get your way. You're a dishonest person and it's time you were taught a lesson in the proper forum.

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