Following reports that the Guptas allegedly mounted a campaign to harass and tarnish the credibility of some South African journalists and editors perceived as being opposed to the controversial family, further evidence to support the claims reportedly reveals that the campaign is being orchestrated from India.
EWN has reported on Thursday it established that a former Gupta employee who now lives and works in India can indeed be linked to a secret surveillance report of former Business Day editor Peter Bruce, which was published on pro-Gupta websites.
It included photographs of his family and others of him having lunch at a restaurant with friends.
By sending an IP phishing link to the administrator of the wmcleaks.com Facebook page – one of the websites established to counter mainstream media reports on the Guptas – EWN was able to trace the IP address to an Indian-based internet service provider with the user based in New Delhi.
According to the report, the Gupta employee is apparently a relative of the family and lived at their Johannesburg Saxonworld compound when he worked for them.
The information also corroborates a Daily Maverick investigation that tracked the author of the surveillance report to India and the Gupta employee.
Writing in his column in The Business Day on Thursday, Bruce said it was only earlier this year in January when he suspected that the Guptas were keeping tabs on him.
He alleged that leader of the Black First Land First movement Andile Mngxitama sent him a message on Twitter claiming the Guptas had shown him the surveillance, and wrote: “You going to get a heart attack Peter; better prepare yourself.”
“I tell you this because it turns out that for about a week in September 2016, while the Guptas were still cocky [that is, before the emails about them leaked], they had me followed and secretly photographed: my wife and I leaving the house for our early morning walk with our dogs, me having coffee with friends in Parkview, me visiting the offices of psychologists as I looked for help for one of my family, me visiting a business to order custom-made collars for the dogs.
“When the owner walked me back to my car and gave me a goodbye hug, they photographed that too,” Bruce said.
The veteran journalist, who has been in the media industry for 45 years, said he would not be deterred by the surveillance and would seek legal advice on how to proceed with the matter.