Shout-Africa News – The publication of an exclusive story “Bona Mugabe Raped by Tanzanian Students,” written by The African Aristocrat, and replicated by several international news-sites, has stirred up a hornet’s nest, with The Straits Times demanding all news-sites to ‘immediately withdraw any reference’ to them.
The African Aristocrat, in the interest of full disclousure, has since published demands for a retraction by the Strait Times.
The Singapore based publication has denied any involvement in the Bona case and has demanded that any reference to their paper be pulled from all news websites that carried the story.
The Aristocrats source, who the online publication considers a viable source, is said to be adamant that his version of events is accurate and offers that the denials on the part of the Strait Times are part of a bigger cover up.
“Given the great public interest in this matter, this publication has rejected calls to remove references to the Strait Times in the report as it could potentially deny the public information to which, by all standards, they have an interest,” said The African Aristocrat.
“However we have graciously offered the Strait Times editor a full front page verbatim publication of their denial that their paper had any involvement in this case.”
“Putting all this information in the public eye should give the generality full facts and the positions of all interested parties and thus allow them to make according determinations as to whether the reports are credible or not. That decision is made by the public, on the basis of available information, not the editorial of this publication,” said the defiant online publication.
Below is the Verbatim Transcript of Communications with The Strait Times;
The article titled ‘Bona Mugabe Raped By Tanzanian Students’ which appears on your site has made false allegations of our alleged involvement. We would like to state categorically that The Straits Times and its correspondent Rupali Karekar were not at any time or in any way involved in or have any knowledge of the alleged matter. We are not aware of any such incident having taken place in Singapore. We take a serious view of being wrongly implicated in this matter. We demand that you immediately withdraw any reference to us from your site.
The Straits Times Foreign Editor
Assistant to editor
Date: Mon, Aug 2, 2010 at 10:00 PM
Subject: Bona Mugabe Raped By Tanzanian Students
Thank you for your email. We understand your position but you must
also appreciate the difficult decision we have to make. Our source
tells us that > this story is accurate, this might or might not be so
and we are forced to > make a decision on the balance of
At best what we could do is publish a response beside the article and
allow the public to decide.
Furthermore, your email has been sent from a private inbox (gmail). We
are very willing to resolve this matter with you but via the correct
Email us from your official email associated with The Straits Times or
provide us a number, verifiable through your website, and we will call
you and resolve this issue.
The African Aristocrat
On Tue, 3 Aug 2010 12:33:14 +0800,
You demanded that we sent this note by proper, verifiable email. This
email should thus suffice.
We repeat: Please remove all references to The Straits Times and our
correspondent Rupali Karekar.
The Straits Times
Zuraidah Ibrahim, Foreign Editor
Assistant to Editore
I must say that your tone is unnecessarily aggresive given our
willingness to co-operate. The word “demand” is rather impolite.
This story was passed on to this website. Our source stands by his
account and offers that your denials are likely part of a bigger
Given the great public interest in this matter it would irresponsible
on our part to simply take your word against that of a source with
whom we have a considerable relationship. The best we can do is to
publish your emails, which deny any involvement, and attach them to
the current piece.
The African Aristocrat
Check the replicated story on: http://www.shout-africa.com/?p=1666