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Drive to shut down websites with links to BLF

17 July 2017 - 07:12 By KATHARINE CHILD
Brothers Ajay and Atul Gupta. File photo.
Brothers Ajay and Atul Gupta. File photo.

An outraged internet user is ensuring websites peddling the idea of white monopoly capital are shut down.

Martin Peake, a UK citizen who grew up in South Africa, said he would not stop until the websites he believed incited racial hatred and are linked to the Guptas are shut down.

On Friday his campaign resulted in the website, www.blackopinion.co.za, being suspended.

He complained to the Internet Service Providers Association ( ISPA) who told its member company about the complaint. The  unnamed company that hosted the website then suspended it.  The ISPA then alerted Peake to the fact the site was suspended.

The website is linked to the Black First Land First lobby group and featured stories attacking "white monopoly capital" and calling the SA National Editors' Forum members racist.

The website was registered by Black First Land First member Yerushka Chetty.

The stories quoting unnamed sources claimed that white people were opposed to the BLF and wanted to attack its members. Stories attacked Sanef for taking the organisation to court to force it to stop harassing journalists.

The story branded Sanef a group of "racist white journalists and the poodle of white monopoly capital". It called black members of Sanef "house negroes".

Another story claimed: "Money is being raised by white monopoly capital in South Africa and abroad to destroy the radical black consciousness movement Black First Land First."

 Peake's investigation led him to Chetty, whose name, number, e-mail address and physical address were linked to the site. On Thursday Peake complained to the association as he felt the website was inciting "racial hatred".

On Friday the association told him via e-mail that site was temporarily suspended.

The association asks its members to remove only "unlawful" content. Chetty did not respond to requests for comment.

The other website known for its defence of the Guptas is wmcleaks.com. It has featured defamatory content about Tiso Blackstar editor-at-large Peter Bruce and has called Amabhungane Investigative journalist Sam Sole names.

The Daily Maverick probe linked the site to former Gupta employee Saurabh Aggarwal.

Peake has found out that the wmcleaks site is based in Australia, but is hosted by American company, Hostgator.

Peake believes Australian laws will not allow the site to be run from its country and he will succeed in having it shut down. On Friday, he has asked US company Hostgator to shut it down based on its inflammatory content and alleged links to the Guptas. 

His query has been acknowledged by the company and is being reviewed. 

Hostgator holding company Endurance's spokesman Kristen Andrews did not respond to requests for comment from The Times.

Hundreds of twitter users have also complained to twitter about fake twitter accounts that tweet pro- Gupta or anti-white monopoly capital comments or link to the wmcleaks website. Some twitter accounts have fake sounding names like Buang Ferriera, Bongi Venter and Dinhtle Schoeman and have been shut down by twitter.