The organisation said it’s delighted at the news that the British PR and Communications Association (PRCA) gave the “harshest possible punishment” to Bell Pottinger for the work it had done for Oakbay and the Gupta family.
“The global merchants of alternative facts, fake news, dirty tricks and hate speech have finally got what they deserve – expulsion by their peers,” said Save SA in a statement on Monday.
The organisation further called for the full disclosure of the scope of the controversial PR firm’s activities in South Africa.
This disclosure, they said, should include details on “what brief they were given by the son of President Jacob Zuma, Duduzane Zuma; what their specific mandate was from Oakbay and the Gupta family,” among other activities.
“We still believe that what has been revealed so far – through Bell Pottinger’s own statements, the report by the law firm it paid to investigate the matter, and the PRCA investigation itself – is just the tip of the iceberg.
“Only through full disclosure will we be able to unravel the labyrinth of deceit, disinformation and hate that was built by Bell Pottinger, working hand in hand with Duduzane Zuma and the Guptas.”
Save SA also said they were “particularly offended” by Bell Pottinger’s alleged work for the ANC Youth League and MK Military Veterans’ Association (MKMVA), as revealed in the Gupta Leaks – this, despite being hired by private companies.
Fin24 reported that Bell Pottinger’s co-founder Lord Tim Bell said on Monday evening that the whole board of Bell Pottinger should resign due to the work it did here in South Africa.
Bell, who quit as the company’s chairperson in August 2016, said it was a “great pity” that the firm had been kicked out by the PRCA, adding that “they had done something very stupid to get themselves in that situation”.
Also on Monday morning, Bell Pottinger CE James Henderson announced his resignation, saying he felt “deeply let down” by colleagues who misled him about the content of the Oakbay account.
The British Financial Times reported on Sunday that Henderson, a significant shareholder in the firm, stepped down on the back of an independent report into work done for the controversial Gupta family.
According to the Financial Times, Henderson’s position has been in question since he issued an apology for the work done for the Gupta family and Oakbay capital. – News24