Thousands of people have supported an open letter to Rapport on radio DJ Darren Scott’s Facebook page in which he says Rapport’s “packdogs” went out of their to “destroy the legacy of the man by doing the disgusting piece of so-called journalism”.
Scott, who’s post has also been supported on Twitter by people saying they have stopped buying Rapport, addresses the open letter to Waldimar Pelser, Hendrik Hancke “and your fellow bottom-feeders at that swamp you call Rapport – and Media 24”. Hey says “James Small was who he was …. a vulnerable, flawed yet genuine, passionate, honest legend who was an inspiration to his family, friends, teammates and his country … a man who respectfully stood up to another giant of a man – Jonah Lomu – for one reason and one reason only …. because he knew his country needed him to. It made him one of those heroes you seem intent on bringing down – for the sake of selling a few extra editions of that pamphlet you call a newspaper.”
In the Rapport article it is revealed that Small was discovered, naked and unconscious at The Harem club in Bedfordview, before being rushed to hospital on the night he passed away. The rag says a judicial inquest has been opened into the circumstances surrounding the 50-year-old’s death. Anonymous sources told the struggling publication that a woman arrived at around midnight at Life Bedford Gardens hospital with a man she said was a client of her club, calling staff to bring a hospital bed as he was too heavy to be placed in a wheelchair. Nurses arrived to find a naked Small.
Small’s cause of death was reportedly a heart attack, but police will monitor the results of toxicology tests for further information.
In Scott’s letter he says Rapport told him they were merely doing their job but “in all the accolades after his untimely death, nowhere did I see anywhere, anybody ask any of you to destroy the legacy of the man by doing the disgusting piece of so-called “journalism” you did today.
“You deliberately chose to forego ANY humanity that may have existed in your little selves, and send your packdogs to go and deliver a front-page that attempts to forever tarnish the legacy of a great man.
“The same day he died, while his family and friends, and the country, were still trying to get to grips with the loss of a man who made us proud, your leeches were calling me and trying to get me to divulge contact numbers of his family (for another of your publications). So frothing was your minion in his effort to get “a story” that he refused to take “NO” and “NEVER” for an answer … calling me 3 times! One of them while I was just arriving at his home where his family had barely even come to terms with what had happened to their brother / son / Dad.
“Even by your standards …. I was stunned!
“I need to know: are you just so detached from the real world that you don’t see the consequences of your decisions? Or do you actually realize that, what you print will affect the people that are hurting most ….and yet callously decide to go ahead anyway, for your own selfish reasons of selling newspapers?
“Or as you call it: “doing your job”. Did you ever think of what your front page would do to his son and daughter? His mother? His family? Of course you did …. (unless you’re all complete morons) …. yet you went ahead anyway.
“Just doing your job”.
“At about this point you’d be bleating on about “public interest” and “public figures” …. we’ll here’s a newsflash: the comments and reactions of the same public after your callous take-down of their hero say otherwise …. but I doubt you’ll realize this, because by now you’ve crawled back under that rock you call a “newsroom” and are already looking for your next target, to try and save your drowning paper.
Respect to his children, his family …. and his legacy
“Here’s another newsflash, if you think you were doing your “journalistic duty”: there are other very respected media persons who knew what happened that night, and chose NOT to go with the story ….. out of respect to his children, his family …. and his legacy.
“These are journalists with a sense of dignity and humanity. People who knew how it would affect his children and family …. but also maybe understood a little of what the man was about, and what he meant to so many in this country …. from those that held such pride for what he achieved for them, to those he used to inspire personally through his selflessness with people, and his giving nature to anyone who needed a helping hand …. or even just encouragement …. or a smile put back on their faces.
“Did you ever unleash your hounds to write about these traits of the man? Of course not … That’s the James Small his family and friends want to remember. The James Small South Africa wants to remember. Not the James Small you want us to remember.
“I don’t know if you have kids. But if you do …. sit one night and watch them while they’re sleeping …. and think about ALL the skeletons in YOUR closets (of which there must be plenty ….. if you’re human that is). And think about doing to them, what your actions have done to James’ kids …. and others before him.”
The post has been liked by more than 3000 people and shared by almost 2000. Hundreds of comments have been made – and counting.