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Cape Town - The Financial Services Board (FSB) managed to get defamatory content removed from an online comic about the Fidentia case centring on Arthur Brown and which negatively portrays some if its members, but it has popped up again.
Speaking about the site www.thecorruptioncomic.org on Thursday, FSB spokeswoman Tembisa Marele said: “It is a smear campaign from criminal elements that the FSB is working hard to bring to justice.”
She said it was yet to decide whether to take action again to clamp down on the site.
On Tuesday, demonstrators gathered outside the Fidentia curators’ offices in central Cape Town holding posters depicting the comic under the headline “The Tale of The Two Curators” and with a handwritten link to the website below. Included on the website are three parts of the comic, which appear to mock the Fidentia case and roleplayers in it. Links to news stories and apparent court documents are also on it. In the comic, a green ogre vaguely resembles Dines Gihwala, one of Fidentia’s curators. The Cape Times has not been able to determine who runs the site, with e-mails sent to the addresses listed on it bouncing back.
On Thursday, Marele said late last year the FSB, through the law firm Webber Wentzel, sent a letter to the website developer asking that the misleading information be removed.
She did not expand on who the website developer was.
In a letter posted on the website, nearly identical to the one the FSB had sent, it said the allegations on it were defamatory and were to be removed immediately. Marele said after the letter was sent, the FSB received confirmation from its lawyers that an internet service provider association had deleted the website.
She said queries this week from the Cape Times about the website had alerted the FSB to the fact that the website was up and running again.
Marele said: “The FSB treats this rubbish with the disdain that it deserves. When you are a regulator, and an excellent one at that, the criminals you try to bring to justice are likely to resort to ridiculous antics like these.”
Gihwala previously said he was not interested in the “orchestrated” website.
On Thursday Brown said he was aware of the website.
“I have no involvement with the site whatsoever and do not know who owns it. [I] Would be quite interested to find that out myself as it seems whoever it is has quite the knack for making a mockery of a serious subject,” he said.
On Tuesday Brown’s associate Matthew Machin, in an e-mailed response to the Cape Times, admitted he came up with the idea for the website: “I am on affidavit confirming that the concept was mine, and as such made available any evidence which was in my possession, hence, I have no reason to deny it. However, I don’t own the site, or the domain name; neither can I take credit for its promotion.”