To the Editor/Manager
On November 14th [8 days ago] I contacted the General Manager and PA to the CEO of Caxton to communicate details of an ongoing dispute with the editor of Country Life, Nita Hazell.
This is regarding an 8 page story, the 14th submitted by me to Country Life, with an invoicing value of approximately R10 000 which the editor solicited directly shortly before it was compiled.
It was accepted on delivery and this acceptance was also communicated directly via email, subbed [ditto] and then rejected. I have these communications as part of my own records.
The issue is a) that once the work is commissioned, delivered and accepted, it has to be paid for irrespective of whether it is used or not.
A secondary issue is b) the basis on which the work was deemed defective after the fact. A third issue c) is the precedent of this particular editor in blackmailing said author with similar commissions and instructions, with threats to abort at the final moment before publication. These contingencies have to be measured against industry standards, as well as the test of the "reasonable" man, and reasonable standards.
I will argue that they are not reasonable, fair or an industry standard.
Besides any financial compensation in this matter, I feel it necessary to address the behaviour of this editor over the course of seven years of work to an authority which will hold her accountable, if she will not do so herself, and if not to her company superiors, then to another authority.
I am happy to appear at the Caxton's offices in person to clarify my position in this regard, with or without the editor present, or if needs be, in court.
Although I was assured by both the General Manager and the PA to the CEO that my concerns were being dealt with and would be answered shortly, after eight days I have to assume they won't be. As such I am taking professional advice to help the process along, and this email forms part of the effort to expedite an outcome.
If by close of business on Thursday, 23 November, no direct contact has been made, the following formal process will be initiated:
1. A letter of demand will be sent to your offices, and to the applicable parties, by registered post.
2. You will have 14 days to respond to the terms set out.
3. Failure to respond will result in court proceedings at the local Small Claims Court in Johannesburg, including for any expenses, travel and otherwise, incurred in this process.
4. Since court proceedings are matters of public record, they will be treated as such.
My rights in this matter are reserved irrespective of any direct communication on November 23rd.