The timing was interesting as i’ve mentioned Greg Vogt and his failure to answer questions regarding Knysna Tourism for 3 years now. But the timing made sense when, within a week, Vogt, was controversially announced as the new CEO of Knysna Tourism.
The first email was received from Vogt and CCied to Coenraad de Beer. It lacked substance and was so generalised that i assumed it was meant to intimidate me:
Vogt: “This mail serves to request you to remove all inaccurate information pertaining to me. This inaccurate information is defamatory and does not comply to the many laws that exist to protect individuals from their person being displayed for the world to access, without proper due process being followed. The record shows that this inaccurate information is being repeated by yourself on various electronic platforms consistently.”
Me to Vogt & CCing De Beer: “You email me, CCING a lawyer, yet provide no specifics so i must assume you intend to intimidate me. To clear up some, possible issues, we can, at least, publish our email correspondence. Do you agree? Please provide your answer, and all future correspondence, through your lawyer, Coenraad de Boer.”
Vogt: “My mail is very clear. Please remove my name, reference to my name and your conclusions you derived and defined in your communications on your electronic platforms. I regard your conclusions et al defamatory and your constant reference through your conclusions as harassment.”
Greg Vogt remained very unclear. Firstly, he never mentioned what facts he disputes and, secondly, he totally ignored where i offered to “clear up some, possible issues, we can, at least, publish our email correspondence.” Maybe he never responded because i deliberately generalised i.e. any correspondence since i discovered his name and his involvement in the Tourism cover-up over 3 years ago.
Having been told by several people that Vogt had been experiencing financial troubles but unsure if he was going to be announced to take the big salaried seat of Tourism, i emailed Coenraad de Beer (not Vogt) for confirmation that he was in fact Vogt’s lawyer.
Me to De Beer: “Morning, Coenraad. Please confirm that Greg Vogt is indeed your client so that i report accurately. If so, please acknowledge that i asked for all correspondence to be done via you.”
De Beer to Me: “We confirm that we act behalf of Mr Greg Vogt. We are taking instructions in respect of your defamatory actions against our client and will take the necessary action against you in due course if so instructed. In the mean time you are required immediately to remove all defamatory material from your website and to desist from harassing our client. Kindly address all future correspondence regarding this matter to our office.”
Again, there was a failure to supply details and switched to a possible rather than a definite tone i.e. “will take the necessary action against you in due course IF so instructed.” And, in a manner of words, agreed with my request to have all communication sent through him as the lawyer i.e. i do not want to deal with Greg Vogt.
Me to De Beer: “Good. I appreciate communication being through you. Thank you for confirming. For clarification, are you representing Knysna Tourism or Greg Vogt as an individual? I, of course, deny defamation of any sort. Please submit a list of your client’s claims on your letterhead. Appropriate proof should accompany.”
De Beer to Me: “We refer to your e-mail to us dated 12 June 2014. As stated clearly in our e-mail to you dated 11 June 2014, we act on behalf of Mr Greg Vogt. We do not intend to litigate by correspondence. You will receive notification in terms of the applicable law of any court process issued to protect our client’s rights.”
Again, no details.
If this ever gets to court, they will try limit it to specific items because, in the bigger context, Greg Vogt would look bad. I simply have too much info to back myself up. However, ensuring that all is included will probably require a good lawyer which i don’t have the cash for. Nevertheless, i will rise to the challenge the best i can. Backing down is not an option. The truth must come out.
It’s interesting, considering my support of the objection to the ISDF tender being given to Chris Mulder’s Creative Heads and CMAI, that De Beer Joubert Attorneys is based in The Boatshed on Thesen Islands, the same building as CMAI. Vogt has been working on the ISDF too.
So Vogt threatens me with a lawyer and Magda Moos, another involved in the Knysna Tourism cover-up, lays a criminal charge against me. Timing too coincidental so i have to wonder what next…