29/06/2017 18:06 SAST | Updated 29/06/2017 19:55 SAST

The Brave Columns That Led To The Attacks On Journalist Peter Bruce

Paid Twitter saw reason to attack Bruce after he exposed some of the Gupta's dodgy business deals

Peter Bruce.
Associated Press
Peter Bruce.

In an column written on Thursday, The Price of Writing About The Guptas, Peter Bruce writes of two columns written by him 2 years ago. One of them was headlined How To Buy A Mine For Next To Nothing which he said detailed how the Gupta family, aided by Eskom management and the Department of Mineral Resources, "would buy the Optimum coal mine from Glencore by using that mine's normally untouchable rehabilitation fund". The second, "What Zuma Still Has To Break To Win", also spoke of the many illegal activities by government.

In Thursday's column Bruce adds that he was proud of the two previous columns. He includes proof of how everything he suspected and alluded to in these columns has now come to pass. "I was right" he writes.

It is these two columns and Bruce's further commentary and reports on countless government illegal activities specifically, the Guptas that Bruce believes led to him being followed and 'secretly photographed' by the Guptas.

Bruce says he first got an inclination that he was being targeted by the Guptas after Andile Mngxitama of Black First Land First tweeted him "you going to get a heart attack Peter; better prepare yourself". Shortly after, Peter also got a tweet via Bell Pottinger, the Guptas' PR firm, by a Tweet 'bot' saying "I've heard you are mentally sick and you see psychiatric ever week. Pls confirm".

Bruce forwarded this tweet to Atul Gupta asking him whether he thought it was appropriate, to which he got the response "And what about you cheating on your wife? Is that also a country issue? Will expose you in full! Watch the space."

Thereafter a website accusing Bruce of cheating on his wife surfaced with pictures of Bruce talking to a woman to 'prove' these allegations. The site also contained "pictures of the surveillance, our address and ID numbers, my children's identities, the dog-collar lady's address and phone number", Bruce writes.

Bruce states he has never in his working career knowingly invaded someone's porivacy and would never do so, "not even a Gupta privacy".

Bruce says this was not only an invasion of his privacy but a criminal act and that he will take legal action against these events. Despite all the threats and attacks, Bruce maintains he is not giving up. "But while legal possibilities are limited I can still write what I like", he affirms.