2OceansVibe kicked off the new year with a ferocious attack on myself and my WhaleTales Blog earlier this week. They referred to a number of matters, even digging back to 2013, just to add bile to their ‘reporting’. 

I will separate our response into the different matters 2OceansVibe writer Jasmine Stone has addressed in the two posts. One cannot miss her unprofessionalism from the word go, with her sensationalist (and amended) headline and nasty rejoicing i.e. Schadenfreude about the dirt she claims to have dug up. At no stage did she contact me to check facts, the first characteristic of an unprofessional writer. She did not do any homework about myself, if she did not want to talk to me directly. She used information from four years ago, being too lazy to do her homework. 2OceansVibe and its owner Will Mellor should be ashamed of its poor ethics, in willfully (pardon the pun) presenting defamatory and libelous information. Feedback we have received shows that 2OceansVibe readers are appalled at the deliberate misrepresentation. One person wrote that 2Oceansvibe is more about sensationalism than accuracy of content! The ‘reporting’ is clearly aimed at generating hits, the Facebook posts relating to the two articles being sponsored, meaning that 2Oceansvibe is paying Facebook to widen its exposure of the stories. One wonders what 2Oceansvibe gets out of this, other than hits for its site. 

Very concerning is that our Blog has been hacked for the past month, at the time that the SA Butler Academy summons was received. We address this as well. 

I wrote to Stone, inviting her for tea, so that I could brief her with accurate facts. We received the following reply from Mellor, and welcome his invitation to present our response with accurate facts. Mellor’s email is the following, followed by my tea invitation.

‘Hi Chris – thanks for the email and happy new year.

I have spoken to Jasmine about this and thought I would reply on her behalf.

It should be mentioned that Jasmine received the initial emails and went ahead with the articles.

It isn’t our policy to send our writers out to meet with everyone they write a story about, but we are happy to offer you the chance for a written rebuttal.

If you wish to you can send through something challenging the SABA defamation case, as well as the charges laid by La Chocalatier. We will happy publish this.

As for rectifying factual inaccuracies on our part, you may also send those through as well.

We have only published a tiny portion of the emails we have received, and don’t wish to publish any further as that point has been made.

Regards,

Seth (William)

ps. the two-name issue you seem to bothered by is not something that has ever been hidden. I have mentioned it and explained it in many publicly available interviews. Seth is a nom de plum I go by. Many writers throughout the world have done and do this’.

On Jan 10, 2017, at 11:08 PM, Chris Von Ulmenstein <whalecot@icloud.com> wrote:

Dear Jasmine

You and I have never met, and that is why you have got so much of your information wrong in your two sensationalist stories. I am sure that you would like to be seen as a professional writer who researches her stories.

Let’s meet for tea (or coffee), so that I can update you with correct information. You name the date, time, and venue that suits you.

Thank you

Chris von Ulmenstein
WhaleTales Blog

  1.   Camps Bay guest house property classification

Four years ago 2OceansVibe posted a story about our former Guest House in Camps Bay, in being  zoned Residential by the City of Cape Town. This exposé led to the change in zoning of the property to Commercial. I did receive a call from former 2Oceansvibe editor Simon Hartley, a bully who gave me one hour only to send a response to his story. It was a Friday and he was on his way to Hermanus for the weekend. My paperwork was at my home, and I was at the guest house, checking in guests, so could not respond in that short a time period, requesting more time. He posted the story, and wrote that I refused to respond! This is the standard of ‘journalism’ at 2OceansVibe! As we ran a PR company from the property in addition to the guest house, the City of Cape Town had granted us the Residential status ten years prior. I found the documentation, and went back to the City of Cape Town, to have the rating status reversed back to Residential. The property was sold with this status 18 months ago.

2.    Le Chocolatier court case

Last year Le Chocolatier sought an urgent interdict about a Blogpost I had written a year earlier, with the title ‘Daniel Waldis’ Le Chocolatier chocolate claims are fraudulent and life-threatening!’ 

Daniel Waldis’ Le Chocolatier chocolate claims are fraudulent and life-threatening!

We were given one day’s notice to defend the matter, an unreasonable demand, so the advocates postponed the court date. The demand was for the Blogpost to be removed. Judge Dennis Davis allowed us to retain the Blogpost, with the removal of two sentences specified.  Since then Daniel Waldis has been schmoozing me with What’s Apps, requesting the reinstatement of our former friendship (the Blogpost details why I am no longer a friend), and requesting that I remove the Blogpost we went to court about. I have no intention to remove the Blogpost, and that is why we defended the matter in the first place.  I have no knowledge nor have I received a summons about a magistrate court appearance in Stellenbosch next week, or about a damages claim from Le Chocolatier, other than reading about it on the 2OceansVibe website! 

3.   SA Butler Academy summons

In July 2016, whilst I was traveling in the USA and U.K., the lawyers representing the SA Butler Academy sent an email requesting that I remove the Blogpost which I had written on 27 February 2013: 

The SA Butler Academy grossly misleads its students and hospitality industry clients!

The Blogpost details the sequence of events that led to us writing it: in short, I employed a student of the Butler Academy, she walked out after a week without notice, I discussed this with Adrian Coetzer of the SA Butler Academy who verbally agreed that the butler’s behavior was unacceptable, but then sent me a harsh response. I awarded them a (first) Sour Award: 

Glasfit Sweet Service and The South African Butler Academy Sour Service Awards!

The SA Butler Academy was incensed, and wrote a post on their website, disparaging us and including links to all negative articles they could find about me and my guest houses. They updated this over the past almost four years. I then wrote the 27 February 2013 Blogpost, which is the subject of the proposed legal action.

I never saw the email sent by the SA Butler Academy lawyers, being amongst the 10000 or so I received over the month of my time overseas. In November 2016 I was sent a copy of the email, which I ignored. We did award them a (second) Sour Award on our Blog for the request: 

Wizardz Sweet Service and SA Butler Academy Sour Service Awards!

In December a Summons on behalf of the SA Butler Academy was thrown into my post box, just before the Christmas break, with a demand for R500000 in damages. There is no demand to remove my Blogpost or for any further additional monies. I have instructed my lawyer to defend the matter. We have not ‘republished’ the 27 February 2013 Blogpost, as claimed in the summons. We noted activity on Twitter by a sister company of the SA Butler Academy, using the handle @GuildRecruitment, on 23 December and on 26 December, providing a link to the summons, and misleadingly stating ‘Court action taken…’. As the High Court is in recess until next week, there has been no further action on the matter, nor has any further communication been received from the legal representatives of the SA Butler Academy. We did find the coincidental timing of the summons received and of the severe hacking of our Blog of concern! See more about this in the next section. 

Clearly the SA Butler Academy approached 2OceansVibe, being impatient with the legal process, not understanding that a spat between ourselves and the SA Butler Academy on 2OceansVibe will not remove the Blogpost nor pay the legal demand. Only the Court can make a judgement on the matter! Ironically the attention attracted to the 2OceansVibe articles, our response on Facebook and now on our Blog, as well as the article in Die Burger today, has created a massive interest in the dishonorable operation of the SA Butler Academy. They must severely regret their sharing with 2OceansVibe. 

It was the blatant misinformation, Schadenfreude, as well as poor research which riddled the 2OceansVibe articles by one rookie writer Jasmine Stone that led us to reply on Facebook yesterday, and to post it on our Blog today, once it became operational again. 

SA Butler Academy Blogpost: the true facts!

4.   Hacking of our WhaleTales Blog

As we have intimated above, the timing of the severe hacking of our Blogsite and the legal communication received from the SA Butler Academy in December may be coincidental. The hacking was so severe that our hosting companies, one in the USA and a local one, had to remove our Blog to not affect other websites in the same block. We have found a hacking-prevention expert to protect our Blogsite,  and I am delighted that I am able to Blog again after a one month absence! 

One wonders how 2OceansVibe sponsors feel about their connection to a web publication which has so little ethics in its operation. We  challenge 2OceansVibe to post this response in full, given its invitation to me to respond! 

POSTSCRIPT 12/01/2017: 2Oceansvibe’s Will Mellor has posted today’s installment about our Blog, misleading in its headline ‘Chris Von Ulmenstein of the WhaleTales Blog responds to our stories’, but stating that it ‘veered so far off topic, and was so filled with vitriol, that we have made the decision to not publish it’. ‘Vitriol’ must be the new word for truth at 2OceansVibe, clearly not able to receive what they dish out! 

Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog  Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein  Facebook:  click here Instagram: @Chris_Ulmenstein