After a brief respite after the launch of ANN7, the Guptas are back into the news. There are the ongoing revelations coming out of the 'Guptagate' military tribunal, and then the trifling fact that the Guptas want to sue the Mail & Guardian and Sunday Times for half a billion rand. Each. For defamation.
The amount is being called absurd - but its intended effect may be more intimidation than anything else.
The Guptas want R1 billion, cumulatively, from two of South Africa's top newspapers. As was observed by the Twitterati, it's hard to resist saying their demand aloud in the voice of Dr Evil, the super-villain from the Austin Powers movies. Naturally, the Guptas have every right to turn to the courts if they believe newspapers are printing lies about them, and all media should be held to account for peddling falsehoods.
But while the family may say they are suing to protect their reputation, in the court of popular opinion the scale of their financial demand may serve to sully it even further.
"The Gupta family is suing the Mail & Guardian and Sunday Times for R500 million each. If successful, these funds should keep...