Slanderous Cypher must be shut down - NAMIU

24 May 2014 12:30pm
WINDHOEK, 24 MAY (NAMPA) – The Namibia Music Industry Union (NAMIU) is fighting feverishly to have authorities shut down a website that allegedly publishes slanderous information about local musicians and celebrities.
Speaking to Nampa about this issue on Friday, NAMIU national coordinator Johannes Shalipo Haludilu, also known as Chally, said the union has approached the government for assistance to have the website, called ‘Cypher Media’, closed down.
“I submitted letters to the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) and the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) on Thursday requesting that they close ‘Cypher Media’ down,” he said.
Documents availed to Nampa showed that Cypher Media CC is owned by Patrick Angelo Haingura, and the site is hosted by Omalaeti Technology.
Haludilu said the union’s decision to approach the ministry and CRAN followed an “unproductive” meeting which they had with the management of Cypher Media, Omalaeti Technology and several artists last Saturday.
“We are seeking government intervention as our meeting ended in a deadlock. What is worse is that the website is still continuing to publish such [slanderous] articles,” he told this news agency.
He said the first step in the fight against the defamatory articles was a demonstration by more than 30 Namibian musicians in Windhoek last Tuesday.
The artists handed over a petition to the Media Ombudsman Clement Daniels, complaining about the slanderous and deceptive content on the website.
More than 50 artists and celebrities signed the petition which was handed over to the Media Ombudsman.
In the same petition, they also stated their intention to have the operation of the website halted, as it is causing a lot of damage to the artists’ careers and the entertainment industry.
Also speaking to this news agency on Friday, musician Albert ‘Mushe’ Ulenga said the website is sabotaging artists’ careers, as it spreads lies about them.
“They write all these lies and deceive our fans. It is not funny anymore, and it is very difficult for us to change the negative things that people think about us because of what they read in the media. I want it shut down immediately, whoever has the power to do it must do it,” Mushe said.
On Saturday, Chris Paul Angelo explained told Nampa that Patrick Angelo Haingura is a pseudonym. He admitted to have started Cypher Media, but said he gave up his shares in the company last year to a person or company he could not mention due to confidentiality clauses in their agreement.
“I am not part of Cypher Media anymore. Last year, I gave up my shares and made a statement that I am no longer part of it. If anyone wants to know who the owner is they must follow the legal procedures,” Angelo said.
The Chief Technology Officer at Omalaeti Technology, Beaton Nyamapanga on Saturday confirmed that the Cypher Media website is hosted by Omalaeti Technology, but they are not responsible for the actual content on that website.
“I think people confuse Omalaeti Music and Omalaeti Technology. Those are two different branches of Omalaeti. We develop websites and host them, and that is the same situation with Cypher Media. Whatever the websites publish is their own responsibilities that should not be blamed on us,” Nyamapanda said.
He also said Omalaeti Technology will not terminate their contract with Cypher Media simply because NAMIU and the artists approached them to do so.
“We cannot just terminate a legal contract. They must give us the legal documents that should convince us to terminate the contract,” he said.