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A South African music journalist is suing a music show director linked to top local act the Parlotones after he threatened on Facebook to physically harm her in response to a negative review.
Eban Olivier is a freelance director who was involved in the Parlotones’ Dragonflies & Astronauts concert at Montecasino in Joburg in July.
Diane Coetzer’s review for the Daily Maverick website, subtitled “great music, lousy theatre”, criticised many aspects of the stage production, but not the award-winning band’s music.
Olivier’s response on Facebook included: “ON A HAPPIER NOTE… I am going to build something like this! Using my Subaru as a base for the chassis and HELL as the inspiration… then I am going to drive over Diane with it!!! Build will start on Saturday!”
Olivier, who also posted a photo of Coetzer, added: “So after this bitch p***** me off to the end degree today I decided to put a snap shot of miss happy on facebook, so should you feel the need to walk past her and give her a PK [p*** klap] you know who dish it out to!”
Today, Coetzer said: “Yes, I was very critical of the stage production, which had been termed a ‘rock opera’, but was fairly complimentary about the Parlotones’ music.
“A couple of weeks after I wrote it, someone alerted me to the fact that he had unleashed this tirade against me on his open Facebook page.
“I found it very distressing. I’ve been a music writer for 15-plus years. I can take criticism. I don’t expect everyone to like what I wrote.
“What distressed me were the threats to me and my daughter. I felt he was inciting people to join in him physically harming me in some way,” she said.
She confirmed that she was suing Olivier for R150 000. Olivier said today: “Yes, it was a rampage of complete and utter fury.”
He confirmed he had posted the words quoted above.
“I’ve put my soul into this country’s music industry. I’m sick and tired of criticism when it’s not based on any understanding of the resources available.
“I understand that journalists can write what they want. But she went off on such a malicious streak, making her comments known to the whole world, that I just responded out of anger to my friends.”
Olivier stressed that he had posted the comments on a “closed” Facebook network, and to “friends” only.
He alleged Coetzer had accessed his comments through a common “friend” and that she had erroneously concluded the comments had been on an “open site”, not a “closed” one.
He added that he had apologised, of his own accord, on the night he had posted the comments.
“I apologised, saying I’d taken it too far. And I am truly sorry. I’m a skinny-assed nerd; I have never even been in a fist fight in my whole life. I conceptualise entertainment projects, that’s all I do.”
Olivier said he would defend the action, arguing that he had posted the comments on a closed page, and that he had apologised immediately.
Coetzer said she had not accepted the apology.
Media lawyer Jacques Louw said that in general, defamation laws could be applied to Facebook posts: “…Defamation laws stipulate that publication of defamation has occurred even if you share the information with just one other person.” - Cape Argus
Firstly, pretty lady. Next, read some comments on the DM site regarding what is considered to be defamatory...Wow, not even close people! Please refer to Adv Google and avoid non-South African sites as the laws of other nations are not totally relevant to a case entirely within the jurisdiction of the SA courts... therefore Defamation of Character is "the intentional and wrongful publication and communication of words or behavior to a third party which has the effect objectively viewed of injuring a person or entity’s reputation". Hope that helps...?
Facebook's servers are located in the USA, so this so-called 'crime' happened out of SA jurisdiction.
If she wins , can we sue the Parltones for just rubbish ?
Henno Kruger, wrote
No offense, but The Parlotones are NOT a rock band, so Coetzer was accurate in her labelling - They might have tried to sell the whole show as "ROCK", but it definitely isn't in my humble opinion
In my opinion Facebook can be viewed as a newspaper article would be viewed. Both parties subjected their opinions on unsuspecting public, whether it be in a FB format or a daily newspaper. In my opinion what gives the reporter the right to trash this man's work whereby he is earning an honest living? I do not agree with threats and inciting physical harm on others - I do though believe this is a quid pro quo situation and should be settled as such.
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